8 simple tips for keeping a home cool in extreme heat

When the temperature and humidity start to rise, it can be impossible to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This can be especially true if you live somewhere with intense summers, such as Tucson, AZ or Houston, TX.

If not properly prepared and maintained, many homes cannot cope with the intensity of the summer sun and / or humidity. So when extreme heat hits, you’ll want to have a few cooling tricks on hand. From quick and easy solutions to more involved projects, here are eight simple tips for keeping a home cool in extreme heat.

1. Use a dehumidifier – A dehumidifier does not lower the temperature directly, but filters water from the air to create a drier room that is cool and comfortable.

2. Replace your light bulbs – Replacing standard incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs not only lowers your energy bill, but also keeps your home cooler. This is because these types of lamps produce much less heat than standard lamps and still produce the same amount of light. A typical 100 watt bulb can raise the room temperature by 11 degrees per hour.

3. Unplug your devices – Each outlet, when a device is connected to it, gives off a small amount of heat. This may seem trivial, but when you fight to keep your home cool, every degree counts.

4. Reduce indoor cooking – Heat from cooking will increase the temperature in the house. If you’re struggling to keep a home cool in extreme heat, consider it cooking outside or a visit to an air-conditioned restaurant.

Block out the sun – To cool your home, keep the blinds or sunshades closed from late morning to early evening. Tinted window film or blackout curtains can also help keep your home 10-15 degrees cooler.

6. Set your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise – A ceiling fan can keep your home cool in the summer. You want your ceiling fan to blow down to cool the room. Each fan has a direction switch, so make sure yours rotate counterclockwise during the summer months.

7. Use a personal ventilator – If you are in a warm room, you can use a personal fan to circulate and cool the air around you. If the outside temperature is cooler than inside, open the window and place the fan right in front of it to draw in that cooler air from outside.

8. Install an air conditioner with a programmable thermostat – Install an entire house, window or room Air conditioning with a programmable thermostat helps to cool a warm room quickly. You can save money when you’re away from home by keeping the house a little warmer and then programming the air conditioning to turn on before you get home from work. It keeps you comfortable while you are there and prevents your house from heating up too much when you are away.

Taking the time to follow these simple tips can help you keep a house cool in extreme heat.

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