There are a number of things you can do to maximize your home’s cooling effects. We’ve broken them down based on small budget, standard or luxury renovations. There are some options that fall into each depending on how much you want to spend.
Small budget projects to keep your home cool
It may sound like a simple idea, but fans are an important part of staying cool. Buying a floor or pedestal fan is a great and cheap way to keep cool with the added bonus of portability.
Since most of these personal-style fans aren’t that expensive , you can get one for each bedroom.
Portable air conditioning
These cooling devices can move from room to room, but, you’ll need a window to push out the hot air through a duct. While they’re relatively cheap and easy to install, portable air conditioners are not very energy efficient and can also be loud. They can range from $100 to $500 depending on the brand, size and functions.
Replace your light bulbs
Light bulbs create a lot of heat — older style incandescent light bulbs give off approximately 90% of the energy they use as heat. A fluorescent bulb does better and only puts out 60% of the energy it uses as heat. The other option on the market is a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb — this bulb produces the least amount of heat.
The number one place where heat will seep into a house is through your windows. A quick update to your curtains or blinds can help reduce this.
You have a number of options if you’re looking to install blinds or upgrade the blinds you already have in your home. Depending on your budget and the aesthetic you’re looking for, you can get:
- Wood blinds
- Faux wood blinds
- Mini blinds
- Panel track blinds
- Honeycomb shades
- Woven wood shades
- Venetian shades
- Roman shades
- Rollers shades
- Sheers shades
- Solar shades
- Pleated shades
- Outdoor shades
Curtains range from soft, lace-like curtains that are breathable to heavy two-layer curtains that help keep the heat out of your home and trap the cold air in. You can get curtains online, at the store or buy custom-made depending on the fabric and style you want.
Window film is a thin layer of plastic that you can apply to a window to decrease the heat of the sun. You can purchase pre-cut pieces or get a whole roll that you can cut yourself to suit your needs. Static cling film doesn’t require adhesives, so it may be easier if you’re doing it yourself. Alternatively, some film can require adhesives, which is trickier to apply and may require tools.
Parts of your home can deteriorate over time and it could end up causing the loss of cool air and the intake of warm air. Doors and window frames, vents, skylights, exhaust fans, poorly fitted or shrunken floorboards and other ill-fitting junctions are just some areas where air can creep in and out.
There’s a simple and cheap do-it-yourself fix for any leaks you find around the house. You can pick up a tube of sealant and an applicator or adhesive gun from a hardware store for less than $50 depending on the type and amount you need.
Making sure any cracks or leaks are sealed will not only help keep your home cool by preventing heat from coming in and cool air from going out, it will also help with your electric bill. Your heating and cooling appliances won’t need to work as hard if none of the air is escaping.
Small tweaks to your garden and outdoor area are also a cheap way to make an impact on the temperature of your home. Planting shade-producing plants outside windows that get direct or constant sunlight will help lower the amount of heat taken into a room.