Seven Tips To Avoid Summer Heat — The Sustainable Way

Graphic art of a house in the summer time with a happy sun in the sky and a boy playing in the grass with his cat.

Do you need sustainable ways to avoid the heat this summer? We got you covered.

We are just about a month away from the official first day of summer and that means that the temperatures are about to start heating up.  In an effort to save a little money on the electricity cost, as well as be more environmentally friendly, we have compiled a list of seven things that can be done to help keep the heat away without using the air conditioner. 

Understandably, these will not always be able applicable solutions and so it is also important to check your air conditioner is in proper working order and if it’s not, get it serviced now. Getting your air conditioner serviced sooner than later can prevent issues from arising during the heat. Keep in mind that maintenance is something that if it’s not scheduled, it schedules itself. It’s also a lot easier to manage when you do the scheduling. Routine check ups can be extremely valuable.

It is important to try and use air conditioning as little as possible as there is currently no refrigerant that does not directly or indirectly increase either ozone depletion or global warming. This is especially true for HVAC systems. HVAC refrigerants have a high ozone depletion potential. What about low ozone depletion potential refrigerants? Well, low ozone depletion potential refrigerant is not as efficient which causes the equipment to run harder to cool indoor the spaces which causes an increase in the production of greenhouse gases. The best solution—try to run your air conditioning as little as possible.

1- Keep doors and windows either opened or closed.

When you open up and close a door, a lot of air is transferred around. By frequently opening up doors when it is hot outside it will let that heat in a lot quicker. Alternatively, when it cools down in the evening it is beneficial to keep the door open so that it can let the most cool air inside as possible. So it is important to keep the doors closed when it’s hot out and open when its cool out.

2- Open up your house in the evening when it’s cool out and close it back up in the morning before it gets hot again.

This is one of the more effective ways of cooling the inside of your home down and circulating air. Utilize the cool outdoor air and use it to your advantage. Open up the windows and if there is no breeze then turn some fans on to circulate the air. Did you know: Through convection (the transfer of heat through the air), conduction (the transfer of heat through a material) or even radiation (heat that warms the air around it and then radiates away from the object) there are ways to design or setup a home or living space to be more efficient in maintaining a steady temperature.

3- Use blinds or drapes for your windows.

Windows will let light in and also the heat that is radiating off the windows that are in direct sunlight.  Blinds that are a light color will help reflect some light and the heat that is associated with it.  This can offer a lot of assistance, especially when paired with heat blocking drapes.  Heat blocking drapes will also block light and help drastically in keeping the heat from the sun out. Windows can also be treated with a ceramic film that will keep heat and UV rays from entering into the house, however, the down side to this is that natural heating will not occur during the winter months. Therefore, the more sustainable option would be to get some drapes. There are some affordable options online so it doesn’t break the bank to make this update.

4- Get fans and/or switch your ceiling fan direction around.

Fans are designed with blades that will push or pull air depending on the direction the blades are spinning.  With ceiling fans specifically, there is a switch on the fan itself that will reverse the direction that the fan spins. In the summertime it is recommended that the fan blades spin counter clockwise so that they are pushing air down. This will provide the most air flow and circulation.

5- Check for any air leaks around doors and windows.

This is self explanatory- if doors or windows aren’t properly sealed then the outdoor heat can come in completely unobstructed which also means that cold air can escape.

6- Unplug any electronics not in use.

This may seem a bit insignificant but electronics actually cause heat. Even a small amount of energy draw can keep an electronic device warm. The New York Times did an interesting article on how much electricity electronics use when they are turned off that is worth a read. So if you don’t need it turned on, turn it off!

7- Try cooking outdoors more.

This can drastically cut down on the need for cooling in the home.  Turning on the oven creates a lot of heat that radiates into the home and warms it up.  Cooking on the stovetop does the same thing, just not as much as the oven.  If you have a barbecue then it’s time to put it to good use.

One last thing—

Get ready for bugs. A lot of bugs will come out in the warm summer months, including mosquitos. Mosquitos are known to carry viruses so it is best to keep them away at all costs. Prepare your home now for this potential problem. Consider your location and whether or not mosquitos are an issue, or any other pesky bugs, and take actions now to prevent them from being an issue later.

There are several options to try and cool a home down that should be considered before turning on the air conditioner. There are also a few reasons to cutting down on using the air conditioner including the fact that it will not only save you some money on the electricity bill but it is also better for the environment. So try one of these seven tips to avoid the summer heat the sustainable way and–

Open up those doors and windows, turn on some fans and enjoy the breeze this summer— enjoy the outdoors!