Keep Your Home Cool Without Air-Conditioning – Quickly

What do you do when it’s hot?  Turn the air-conditioner House Roogulli midday 24 Nov 2012on without hesitation?

What about the cost – to your hip pocket and to the environment?

And what if you don’t have AC?  (I don’t! :))  Or there’s no electricity?  Does your home become an oven in summer?  Even though you have all the doors and windows open?  Maybe you come home to find to find your home hotter than outside…so you wonder why you bothered coming home…

So what are the quickest ways to keep your home cool without air-conditioning (AC) – or any electricity?

Aim to keep heat out and cool in – and not add any heat from within your home.

Use your windows and doors the RIGHT way

Maybe it’s because hot air and radiant heat comes in through your windows and doors. (Radiant heat is infrared radiation from the sun or heat-storing objects such as brick, concrete and pavers.)

Contrary to what you might think, opening your doors and windows is a quick way for radiant heat and hot wind to enter your home.

So, the remedy is to:

  • close doors and windows when your home is cooler than outside (usually early morning)…
  • and open them when it is hotter inside than out (usually late night, or when a cool change or sea breeze arrives).

You can use internal doors the same way – especially if some parts of your home get warmer than others.  You don’t want your sun-room heating your home in summer! 😉

It is particularly important to shut up your home on hot windy days.  (My Kiwi brother-in-law calls them ‘hair dryer’ days ;)).

Good use of doors and windows is one of the quickest and simplest ways to reduce your energy use from cooling your home – and it’s free!

Open, shut them

Making good use of your window treatments can also make a huge difference to your comfort.  You can reduce radiant heat (especially heat from the sun) entering your home by using:

  • external shading on windows that get summer sun
  • close fitting, insulating blinds, curtains or shutters on all windows

Similarly to the way you ‘drive’ your windows and doors, you need to ‘drive’ your window coverings to get the most out of them:

  • close curtains and shutters, and pull down blinds, when your home is cooler than outside – and always before the sun hits the window…
  • and – when the sun is not hitting the window – you can open them up again, particularly when it is hotter inside than out.

Cover the OUTSIDE of windows

External shading of windows is more important than internal window treatments.

Window-shading can be as simple as some shade-cloth or hessian pinned to the fascia board or hung by jamming the top edge of the material into the top of a window when you close the window…or as elaborate as electrically-controlled external shutters.  (Any cloth will do – even a sheet!)

Shade-cloth or vines over pergolas also works very well.

Turn off ALL heaters

What?

‘But I don’t have the heater on in summer!’

Don’t you?

You may not be running the heater(s) you use in winter…but you could be running all sorts of little heaters:

  • the stove or oven
  • incandescent light bulbs (if you have them)
  • computers, including laptops and tablets
  • TVs and other appliances when you don’t need to use them
  • power adapters and chargers
  • showers and baths

Instead:

  • eat cold food, or use the microwave if you must have hot food – preferably at night only (remember, though, that hot food will help heat you)
  • if you need the light on, use LEDs or compact fluorescents
  • only run your computer(s), appliances and plug-in power adaptors and chargers if you need to.  Consider using them only when they won’t heat your home (eg early morning, late evening) … and getting solar chargers for your battery-powered devices.
  • shower or bathe at night – it will help you sleep better too 😉

Do you have a different quick way to cool?  Share it in the Reply box below.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!

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