The Best Ways to Keep Your House Cool in the SummerJuly 5, 2017
Lower the electric bill, stay cool outside, or do both at the same time
Texans do not need an official summer weather forecast to know that the coming months will be hot and humid. It is the price we pay for temperate winters and little to no snowfall. But when temperatures creep into the 100s and you fear that your electric bill will also soon reach unspeakable heights, it is time to get creative to beat the heat.
Here are some hacks to keep you safe, comfortable and—dare we say—cool for the summer, whether you and your family are in your home or braving the outdoors.
Optimize your air flow indoors
While nobody enjoys a high energy bill—the average Texan bill is more than $100—it is simply unsafe in the Texas heat to go without air conditioning. But it is possible to optimize and supplement your central air in a couple of easy steps.
Start by showing your AC unit some love: change the filter every month and have the ducts checked for leaks that can reduce the efficiency of an air conditioning system as much as 15 percent!
Next, give your AC system a little support with a few easy hacks to beat the heat indoors. For example, keep all windows and doors closed, whether the system is on or not. It might seem obvious, but it is easy to open a window for, say, ventilation while cooking and forget to close it.
If you do open your windows—say at night when it is a little cooler—keep warm air out by placing a fan facing the open window; the fan will push the warm air out and shoot cool air into the room.
Keep your family and guests comfortable and create the ultimate cool room with fans. Again, it seems simple. But fans help evaporate sweat and push heat away from your body, while AC systems only eliminate humidity in the air.
It is important to know this distinction, because leaving a fan on in a room without a body to cool is actually a waste of precious electricity; fans do not cool the air in a room. There are lots of other tips to keeping cool for the summer, like spritzer bottles and damp sheets, but remember that a lot of these are designed to provide comfort in dry heat, something many Texans close to the Gulf do not experience.
Give electronics a vacation
There are many delicious reasons grilling is synonymous with summertime, but here is one explanation you might not have thought of: who wants to turn on an oven or stove in 100-degree heat?
To keep your home cool for the summer, avoid using appliances that generate a lot of heat. That, of course, includes ovens and stoves but also dishwashers—the drying cycle is the real culprit here—clothes dryers and computers. So give these items a rest this summer.
Further, turn off your computer or put it to sleep when it is not in use, and never set your laptop on your actual lap when it is in use. It is basically a furnace for your thighs! For those steamy summer showers, turn the vent on to keep the room cool. And when it comes to your daily beauty routine, consider skipping the hair dryer and straightener. Bravo has some more essential beauty tips for those hot summer months.
Create cool zones in your backyard
At some point this summer you will want to actually spend some time outside, of course. That Texas sky is breathtaking even at 100 degrees and any children are probably already dying to enjoy some backyard fun. So how do you keep from baking or melting in the Texas heat?
Create spots of refuge in your yard. Maybe that means a wading pool—or kid’s pool—where overheated adults can dip their feet in the cool water. You might also decide you want to invest in a backyard water misting system. But the easiest—and most creative—way to create an outdoor cool room is by creating shade wherever and using whatever you can. Umbrellas, sheets, hammocks—it is all fair game! Check out these inventive DIY ideas for creating shady retreats in your backyard!
Make an at-home water park
Staying cool for the summer can easily become a fun family event when you take the party outdoors! Create your family’s very own water park in your backyard by incorporating games and toys that keep you cool and entertained. For example, stage a family water war with water balloons or pistols.
You can also build or buy your family a slip’n’slide for an easy at-home water slide. These outdoor water staples will help you and your kids stay cool and connected this summer—just remember your sunscreen!
No matter how you keep cool during this brutal Texas summer, we hope you stay safe: stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and take AC breaks.
Share our tips with your neighbors and friends looking to beat the heat this summer!