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Too Hot to Handle? Cool Your House Without Air Conditioning

Exterior home improvement
Porches, awnings, and shade trees can keep your home cool.

It’s just so hot outside. When you head into your house, it seems like it’s even hotter. How can you survive the heat of the summer, especially if you have no air conditioning? Take some interior and exterior home improvement tips from the generations that came before you, all of whom survived the summer’s heat before the invention of air conditioning.

Use Windows and Fans to Increase Air Flow

One of the most difficult parts about the stifling heat of summer is the fact that the air just seems to sit quietly. Moving air will help cool you off. Open upstairs windows to let the air out, or use a whole house fan system to draw cooler air through downstairs doors and windows and force it out of the attic. You can do something similar on each individual level as well. Windows that open from the top or transom windows allow you to vent the hot air from each room. If you’re feeling the heat on a single level, open windows or doors on both sides of the house so that air will flow through your home.

Exterior home improvement
Place fans strategically to improve air flow.


Decrease the Heat Indoors

When it gets hot, put on your home’s sun protection. Draw the blinds in rooms that receive a lot of direct sunlight, and make sure that large rock walls or fireplaces don’t get a lot of direct sunlight, since they’ll absorb the heat and send it out during the night time hours. Unplug lamps and other appliances that make heat, and stick with meals that require very little cooking. When it’s baking outdoors, the last thing you want to do is add to the heat by baking indoors.

Add Shade to the Outside

There’s nothing like sitting under a shade tree on a hot summer’s day. What if you could move your house under there? Trees and trellises with vines are a home improvement project that creates shade and adds beauty to your garden as well. If you have specific windows that are very sunny at certain times of the day, add retractable awnings that you can use to selectively block the sun.

Cool Down Your Roof

Most roofs are black or dark brown, and this is one of the best colors for absorbing heat. If you’d like that sunshine to bounce right back off again, choose lighter-colored roofing materials. Alternatively, you can turn that dark roof to your advantage by adding solar shingles or panels that use the roof to generate energy that powers your interior cooling systems.

Invest in Larger Home Improvement Projects

If you have the ability to make larger changes to your home, you can reap even more benefits from interior and exterior home improvement projects. Move bedrooms and other living spaces to north-facing areas and make sure that trees shelter them and that hallways and windows are there to take away the warm area. Add a cupola to the roof to allow air to vent from the top of the building. If you’re renovating or building a new home, use highly-insulated building materials to avoid temperature shifts inside the home.

When you’re looking at ways to keep your home cool this summer, contact Harry Helmet. Add a cool awning to help keep out the heat.

Written by Del Thebaud

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