5 Tips for Keeping the Summer Heat Out of Your Apartment
While the summer makes for an incredibly enjoyable season, the heat can certainly start to get to you after awhile. August brings a whole new level of heat and humidity, and by now you may be more than ready for a bit of fall mildness. You can’t rush the month along, but you can make some little changes around the apartment that will make a pretty significant difference. The trick is figuring out how to cool things off without blowing your utility bills up. Running the central air conditioning all the time may keep you cool, but you’ll heat up in a hurry when you have to pay those bills at the end of the month. So here are five tips for keeping the summer heat out of your apartment that won’t break the bank.
First off, consider installing awnings above the windows around your apartment. The direct heat of the sun will warm a room faster than anything else. It’s a simple idea, but anytime you’ve escaped the heat by seeking out shade you’ve experienced exactly how significant the temperature change really is. By putting awnings over your windows you’ll cut down the solar heat gain in your apartment by 65% to 75%, depending on the direction each window faces. That means your AC unit won’t have to work so hard, which translates to a huge energy savings.
Now that you’ve got the sun off the windows, consider other ways to make your windows work for you. There’s a lot more to play with than just opening or closing the windows in your apartment. Start thinking about how air moves. Hot air rises in a room, so on those very hot days you should open windows that are high on the walls to allow the hot air to vent outside. If you have windows with double hung panes, you can make those even more useful. Explore how the wind crosses your apartment, and open the lower panes on the upwind side and the higher panes on the downwind side. This will send the air moving through your apartment similarly to how it moves over an airplane. The cool air will literally drive through the house, causing a delicious breeze that will make a huge difference.
Next, consider installing a set of ceiling fans. These are incredibly useful devices that are also inexpensive and easy to install. Air conditioners may cool the room, but they take a lot of energy to do so and you won’t feel that nice breeze you get from an open window. With a ceiling fan you’ll feel the breeze across your body, which will help dry sweat and make you feel more comfortable. And since they use only a tiny amount of energy, you can run ceiling fans all the time without concern for expense.
You should also think about cutting down on your cooking for the rest of the summer. Back in the old days people would actually build external kitchens for their warm weather cooking. This is because running that oven will drastically heat the space, especially in the tighter confines of an apartment. Your air conditioner will have to work incredibly hard, and may well not be able to compete with the oven and the stove. Try to bring your cooking outside to a barbecue, or eat fresh foods that don’t require cooking as often as possible.
Finally, try to uncover and remove the other things in your apartment that generate heat. It’s always a good idea to turn off unnecessary lighting, especially if you use incandescent fixtures. These generate a ton of heat, and with the long days of summer you should be able to get by without any lights whatsoever for most days. It’s probably also a good idea to get rid of old appliances and technological products in favor of higher air quality products. Older technology generates a ton of heat, and newer units are much more efficient in that matter. And if you aren’t using something, unplug it. You’ll trim your electric bills and cut the air temperature all at the same time.