Here are 10 practical ideas for staying cooler this summer. These 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 this 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% 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%.
  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 ductwork – Push more airflow to the second level of your home. It’s best to start with 60% 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!