Here are 10 practical ideas for staying cooler this summer.

10 tips to stay cool this summerThese easy-to-do suggestions can really make a difference.

  1. Swap your sheets. Flannel and fleece insulate during the winter, but cotton sheets breathe and stay cooler in summer. A buckwheat pillow can also keep you cool because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them that won’t hold onto body heat like a conventional pillow.
  2. Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise, and turn up the fan’s speed. This will create a wind-chill breeze effect to make you feel cooler.
  3. Use exhaust fans when in the bathroom and the kitchen. Hot air rises and these fans pull warm air and moisture up and out of your home.
  4. Switch light bulbs. Compact fluorescent and LED lights are much cooler than old-style incandescent bulbs. Incandescents waste about 90 percent of their energy emitting heat, so you’ll also save on electricity costs.
  5. Block off the south and west. South- and west-facing windows should be closed and blinds or curtains shut during the day to prevent direct sunlight from heating up the house.
  6. Consider mini-blinds. Mini-blinds on windows can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50 percent.
  7. Don’t run your dehumidifier in the same space that you are conditioning. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and make your air conditioner work harder.
  8. Keep lights/lamps away from your A/C thermostat. The heat bulbs give off can make your system believe it’s warmer in your home that it really is.
  9. Adjust the dampers on your duct work. Push more airflow to the second level of your home. It’s best to start with 60 percent of your system flow directed to the second level. When turning down first level vents, start with runs that are located closest to your thermostat.
  10. Grill more, bake less. A 400-degree oven adds a lot of heat to the kitchen. Grill out more often!