Summer is a time of year that we all look forward to. It would be a safe assumption that it’s part of what sustains us through the long, cold months of winter. We picture ice creams, relaxing with the sun on our back, days out at the beach. What? I know it’s not just me.
In this excited daydream, we tend to forget one of the realities. Especially as someone who lives in the Deep South.
The downside of summer takes place in your home.
The heat you so adore when you have time off to enjoy it, becomes punishing when you have to do things. Think 100+ degree days consistently.
Every basic household chore becomes an exercise in how much you can sweat. At night, you toss and turn and fantasize about finding a freezer that you could sleep in. The heat becomes punishing. Excruciatingly so.
There are ways to keep cool and reduce the temperature of your home climbing into the “unbearable” zone. However, before we talk about what does work, a quick nod to what doesn’t.
Fans are one of the cheapest ways of keeping air circulating, and can mimic a cool breeze on your skin. They actually make the room that they are in hotter due to their energy output. It’s up to you if you decide the trade off – the circulating air vs. the minute amount of extra heat – is worth it.
So what does work?
Shut The Sun Out
In countries where summer is long and punishing, shuttered windows are the norm. It’s important to try and keep the sunlight out during the day. Think of stepping into a basement or garage when it’s hot out, and the immediate relief it provides. You’re going to try and recreate that throughout your home.
There are a multitude of ways to shade windows. You can look at conventional options, such as thermal curtains or blackout custom made blinds. These are by far the most effective. You can improvise using car windscreen shields or pinning paper on the window. It will still have an impact, though not as much as something designed for the purpose.
Shut Hot Air Out
So it’s a hot day: what’s the first thing that you do? You open the windows. It seems only natural. Yet the moment you do that, you let in hot air. If you have lowered the temperature using one of the sun protection methods above, the hot air needs to stay out.
Set an alarm for the middle of the night and go around opening all the windows. Let the cooler air move through, and then close the windows again during the day. It may sound counterproductive, but it works.
Think About The Fabrics You Use
If you sit on a man-made fiber sofa during summer, it’s going to make you hot. Certain fabrics – such as cotton and linen – are known for their breathable material. Even if this means just buying suitable fabric by the metre and using it as a throw over any man-made material, it’s a change worth making. It might not lower the temperature of your house, but it will drastically increase how it feels to live in it during summer.