11 Tips to Help Beat the Heat

With this heat wave that has hit Vancouver Island, and other parts of British Columbia, it is near impossible to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. Especially when it is time for bed. Most homes are not designed to handle the intense heat associated with a heat wave. I can’t be the only one who is trying all the tricks to cool down the rooms in my house. Not everyone has an A/C system in their home, so here are a few alternative options that you can try to beat the heat this summer.

Close your curtains

Although on a beautiful sunny day we want to open all the curtains to let the light in, it is best to keep them closed in order to reduce the heat transmitting though the windows. If you do not have curtains or blinds on your windows, you should run over to Walmart and pick some up from the home décor section. Blackout curtains will do the best job, and try to choose neutral colors rather than dark colors that reflect heat rather than absorb it. While this will not result in an ice-cold room, it will substantially reduce the temperature.

Switch those light bulbs

If you are still using incandescent light bulbs, they give off significant amounts of heat. Try switching to high-efficiency LED bulbs, which can emit more light, while being more energy efficient with a longer lifespan. Be mindful of turning on lights as well. If you are leaving one room, turn of the light. This will not only save on your electricity bill, but also reduce heat through your home.

Turn off electronics

This may not be the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they think about sources of heat around their house. However, electronics can give off quite a bit of heat. Have you heard a MacBook when its working hard, its blowing out air from all corners of the earth! If you are not using an idle electronic, turn it off and unplug it. Remember every little thing wll help.

Cook on the BBQ

With your house already hot inside, cooking a dinner in the oven or on the stove is only going to result in more heat introduced into the house. Therefore, brush off your BBQ, grab your tongs and grill some burgers. Consider making other dished such as salads that will not contribute to an increase in the temperature.

Consider replacing your windows

If you live in an older home, chances are your windows are single pane, which are not the best at refracting light. Consider installing new energy efficient windows which will help reduce the heat that gets through into your homes rooms.

Close those doors

If you have a room in your house that is not being used, such as a home office, guest room or entertainment room, close the door! This will allow any cooler air that you have created to not get lost in unnecessary rooms.

Makeshift A/C

The age-old trick of placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan does actually work! Using a casserole dish is best as it does not directly block the fan and instead allows the air to bounce off the ice and into the room. (any other bowl or container that does not have tall edges will work well)

Switch your bedding

One word, Cotton! If you do not have cotton sheets on your bed you should. Cotton is breathable and remains cooler. Other materials such as silk feel nice, but will have you sweating in no time. Try a lighter comforter as well, which will not weigh as heavy on you. Heat rises, so if your bedroom is on the second floor and you cannot get a break with the heat, go camp downstairs on an air mattress for a few nights. This can be a fun family activity too!

Use your ceiling fan

If you have ceiling fans, use them. Did you know you should be adjusting your ceiling fans rotation depending on the season? During the summer, make sure your ceiling fan is going counter-clockwise. If it is not, climb up and take a look around the base, most ceiling fans will have a switch that adjusts the fans direction. Turning on any bathroom or oven range fans will also help extract heat from the house.

Take advantage of the evening air

Despite these hot days, the air does cool down at night time, which is why you should take advantage and open your windows and blinds to allow the cool air to circulate around your house. However, it is important you are awake to close the windows and blinds before it heats up again. Otherwise you will be welcoming the heat right back into your house.

Help the heat escape

If your house has an attic, open it! Heat always rises so giving the hot air somewhere else to escape to will lessen the amount of heat that is trapped on your floor.

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