There are so many reasons to love the hot weather that comes along with summertime. Chances are, you will need to keep your house cool to feel comfortable. While air conditioning is a solution to rising temperatures, it can be costly. So, what are you to do if you want to stay AC free?
Here’s how to keep your house cool, even when the weather heats up.
Radiant Barriers and Proper Ventilation
If you want to take your insulating efforts to the next level, try radiant barriers.
A radiant barrier is a thin sheet of metal material that looks similar to a thicker aluminum foil. It’s often installed in attics, just beneath the roof joists. By placing the radiant barrier on the attic floor between the roofs material and insulation, a significant percentage of the heat radiating from the hot roof will be reflected back toward where it came from—not toward the insulation. Similarly, the cool air that is trying to escape your home will also be reflected back downwards.
As you might imagine, this heat reflection can get extremely hot. This is why it’s critical to have proper ventilation throughout the attic space. Too much insulation can restrict airflow, which reduces the home’s natural ventilation capability.
The insulation in your walls and attic can keep you warm during winter. But did you know that it also keeps you cool during the summer?
Some liken attic insulation to a thermos—either keeping a hot drink toasty or a cold drink chilly, depending on what you put in it. During the hot months, insulation prevents hot air from entering the house, particularly through the ceiling into the living spaces. According to NBC, “The way thermodynamics work is heat flows from a hotter place to a cooler place… not having insulation means heat is seeping into your house.”
When a room has no insulation or has insufficient insulation, it becomes far too easy for cold air to escape the house and hot air to enter. By sealing up those spaces, you can help the house stay cool from May to September. If you live in a hot climate, learn more about the best attic insulation for hot climates.
Install High-Efficiency Lighting
Do you still use traditional 100-watt light bulbs in your home?
You may not realize it, but those older bulbs can increase a room’s heat, especially in a small space. Due to their inefficiencies, a significant percentage of an incandescent bulb’s energy emits as heat. While the amount of heat produced varies according to several factors (bulb materials, bulb shape, wattage, and room airflow), even a single bulb can cause unwanted heat. According to Temperature Master:
“A 420 square foot room with 10-foot ceilings has 145 kilograms of air. This means that it takes 145 kJ to heat the room 1 degree Celsius. With a 40-watt light bulb, it would take approximately 1 hour to heat the room 1 degree. Therefore, a 40-watt light bulb would heat a room 1 degree every hour (with perfect insulation).”
The answer to this problem is LED light bulbs. Thanks to their high efficiency, LED lights won’t make the room hotter since far less consumed energy is converted into heat.
Close Your Blinds
Although you may be tempted to let the sunlight pour in so you can have natural lighting throughout the day, doing so will inevitably heat your home. This is particularly true on a scorching day.
Consider keeping the windows shuttered until the afternoon. Thicker curtains, blackout curtains, or even thermal shades are fantastic at keeping the heat from penetrating your home. Give it a try. You may be surprised by what a dramatic difference it makes in your home’s temperature.
Hot temperatures can cause discomfort, but heat combined with humidity can spoil a day. If you live in a humid area, consider strategically placing a few dehumidifiers throughout your home. These machines can draw water out of the air, so you don’t feel like you’re living in a sauna.
Use the Ceiling Fan (Properly)
Here’s a fun fact: ceiling fans can help your home cool down or warm up. You read that right; depending on the direction the fan is spinning (clockwise or counterclockwise), fans are designed to create an updraft or a downdraft.
When you flip the switch on the side of the fan, it changes the direction it’s spinning. During the summer, you want the fan to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. The direction and the angle of the blades force the air downwards, causing the air to circulate and cool the room.
Attic Construction Can Help Cool Down Your Home
A scorching hot day at the beach is a blast. But when your home feels like the Sahara, it’s not nearly as much fun. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to lower your home’s temperature without an AC. If you do need to use an AC, though, there are several ways to lower your power bill.
Need help with that?
At Attic Construction, we can insulate your attic, install radiant barriers, and confirm that there’s proper ventilation. Such small steps will ensure that your home’s temperature remains pleasant and your heating and cooling costs stay down when you are feeling that summer heat. When it comes to attics, we’re the experts residents trust, whether for attic insulation installation, removal, or decontamination.
We provide free attic inspections with zero strings attached. So, if you want to make sure that your home stays hot in the winter and cool in the summer, reach out today!
- Temperature Master. Does a Light Bulb Make a Room Hotter? https://temperaturemaster.com/does-light-bulb-make-room-hotter/
- NBC. How to Keep Your House Cool Without Running Your Utility Bill. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/business/how-keep-your-house-cool-without-running-your-utility-bill-ncna887321