How to Keep Your Home Cool During The Hottest Summer Days

We’ve officially reached the point of the year where there are multiple 100+ degree days in Idaho.

When faced with a stretch of scorching weather with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, keeping your home cool becomes essential for comfort and health. Here are some effective strategies to help you maintain a cool indoor environment during extreme heat:

1. Optimize Your Air Conditioning & Settings Properly

  • Set Your Thermostat Wisely: Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable setting. Every degree higher can save on energy costs while still keeping your home cool. Have you considered a smart thermostat?
  • Maintain Your AC Unit: Regularly clean or replace filters to ensure efficient operation. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to overheat.
  • Use Programmable Thermostats: These devices can adjust the temperature automatically based on your schedule, reducing the strain on your AC during peak hours.

2. Use Fans Throughout Your Home and Placed Strategically

  • Ceiling Fans: Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise to create a wind-chill effect. This can make you feel cooler even if the room temperature is slightly higher.
  • Box and Oscillating Fans: Place these fans in windows at night to pull in cooler air. During the day, use them to circulate air within the house.
  • Exhaust Fans: Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to remove hot air and humidity from cooking and showers.

3. Block Out the Sun Where You Can

  • Close Blinds and Curtains: During the hottest part of the day, keep blinds, shades, and curtains closed to block out the sun’s heat.
  • Use Reflective Window Film: Applying reflective film to your windows can reduce heat gain by reflecting a portion of the sunlight away from your home.
  • Install Awnings or Shade Sails: These can provide additional shade to windows and outdoor areas, reducing the amount of direct sunlight entering your home.

4. Reduce Indoor Heat Sources That Are Not Needed

  • Limit Use of Heat-Generating Appliances: Avoid using ovens, stoves, and dryers during the hottest parts of the day. Opt for microwaves, slow cookers, or outdoor grilling instead.
  • Switch to LED Bulbs: Incandescent bulbs generate a lot of heat. Switching to LED bulbs can reduce indoor heat and save energy.
  • Unplug Electronics: Many electronics generate heat even when not in use. Unplugging them can reduce overall heat levels in your home.

5. Improve Home Insulation

  • Seal Leaks: Check for gaps around doors and windows and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent hot air from entering.
  • Insulate Attic and Walls: Proper insulation can keep cool air in and hot air out. This can significantly reduce the workload on your cooling system.

6. Utilize Natural Cooling Methods

  • Cross Ventilation: Open windows on opposite sides of your home to create a cross breeze, allowing cool air to flow through and hot air to escape.
  • Night Cooling: Open windows and doors at night when temperatures drop to allow cool air to enter. Close them in the morning to trap the cool air inside.
  • Indoor Plants: Some indoor plants can help cool the air by releasing moisture through a process called transpiration.

7. Create a Cool Sleeping Environment

  • Use Lightweight Bedding: Opt for cotton sheets and lightweight blankets to stay cool at night.
  • Cool Down Your Pillow: Place your pillow in the freezer for a few minutes before bed or use cooling gel pillows to keep your head cool.
  • Sleep in Lower Levels: If you have a multi-story home, consider sleeping on the ground floor or in the basement where it tends to be cooler.

8. Stay Hydrated and Monitor Health

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Staying hydrated helps your body regulate temperature and keeps you cool.
  • Monitor Vulnerable Individuals: Keep an eye on young children, the elderly, and pets, as they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
  • Take Cool Showers: Taking a cool shower or bath can help lower your body temperature.

Keeping your home cool during multiple days of extreme heat requires a combination of strategies. By optimizing your air conditioning, using fans effectively, blocking out the sun, reducing indoor heat sources, improving insulation, utilizing natural cooling methods, creating a cool sleeping environment, and staying hydrated, you can maintain a comfortable and safe indoor environment. Implementing these tips can help you stay cool and protect your health during the hottest days of the year.

Whether your air conditioning unit needs a general maintenance and check-up, or you’re in need of a new HVAC unit, Gem Heating & Air Conditioning is ready to serve. Call us at 208-912-6304!