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Staying Cool in the Summer Without A/C

Ready for another cruel Houston summer? While it might feel great to blast the A/C in your home or apartment 24 hours a day, paying that high utility bill all season is not cool! There are several ways to cut down on using your air conditioning without sacrificing your comfort. Though it can get tricky with the hot, humid weather, we’ve compiled some tried-and-true options to keep the indoor temperature down without turning the thermostat up. Don’t believe us? Try these indoor hacks for staying cool without A/C.

Re-Set Your Ceiling Fan – A little-known fact is that your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted twice a year. In the summer you should set it to run counter-clockwise – and at a higher speed. This small step will help deliver air that feels much cooler.

Close Your Blinds and Curtains – Up to 30 percent of the heat in your home comes from your windows. In the summer this can be a real problem, especially if you have windows that face the south or west. By keeping the blinds and curtains closed during the heat of day you can lower the indoor temperature by as much as 10 – 20 degrees.

Seal Cracks in Doors and Windows – To keep hot air from entering your home (and ensure that the cool air doesn’t escape), make sure that your home is sealed properly. According to Energy Star, most households could about 20 percent on their HVAC bill by sealing air leaks. Weatherstrip, seal and caulk leaks in windows, doors and anywhere in your home you feel there might be a leak.

More on Sealing Air Leaks for Increased Efficiency

Replace Your Bedding – The flannel sheets that you were using to keep warm for winter should be replaced. Switching out those warm flannel sheets and heavy fleece blankets with cotton sheets will go a long way in keeping you cool at night.

The Best Sheets for Summer

Closed Rooms – If you are living in a house without central air, closing off the warmer rooms is one of the oldest ways to keep cool. Rooms that are exposed to the sun (and without benefit of any trees or outdoor shade) and tend to heat up more intensely as the day progresses should be shut off from the rest of the house.

Exhaust Fans – Most people have exhaust fans in their bathrooms. Not as many have them in their kitchen, but they are essential in both rooms. Exhaust fans aren’t used just to remove smoke and steam, they pull the hot air out of a room. Try turning on an exhaust fan for a few minutes every night to get rid of some of that warm air.

Box Fan Circulation – Box fans are relatively inexpensive and can be a real life-saver in homes without central air. By placing a fan in an open window (facing the interior of the home) and placing a fan in a window on the opposite side of the house (facing the outside) you can circulate and cool the air. The back fan pulls in the cool air from outside, while the front fan sucks the warm air out of the house. Even if the air outside is warm and muggy (as it tends to be in Houston), the circulated air through the house will feel cooler.

Try these tips for staying cooler without A/C. Even if you have central air or a window unit, you’ll be able to keep your utility bills down using just a few of our recommendations.