When summer approaches, everyone’s mind seems to be occupied with beaches, sunny days, and barbeques. However, with the long-anticipated summer season comes the warm weather, which may be unconducive and unbearable to some people.
The good news is that you can still beat the heat that comes with such a season, without having to sacrifice much on electricity bills. All you need to do is to follow the right steps.
This article will discuss some of the top tips you can follow to keep your apartment cool during the dog days of summer. If you follow these tips, your environment, and utility budget, is sure to thank you.
How To Keep Your Apartment Cool
Keeping your apartment cool during summer can be easy if you follow the right and proven steps. First, let’s look at how to keep your apartment cool without air conditioning.
Using Several Ceiling Fan
We all know what a fan is and how it functions. Research has proven that fans can help your rooms keep cool, and reduce the normal temperatures by about seven degrees. The whole process makes you stay cool. The good thing about this approach is that less power is consumed, compared to the air conditioner option.
If you have a ceiling fan in your house, you should ensure that it is spinning on full blast and in a counterclockwise direction. However, you should note that not all rentals you decide to settle in have fans.
In such a case, you can buy portable fans and have them all over your rental unit. With that said, for the case of large bedrooms and living rooms, a bigger oscillating fan that can be fixed in a corner might prove to be the best option.
If you have smaller rooms, such as an office, a small portable fan sitting on your desk can be ideal for you. If the day is very hot, try placing a bowl of ice just in front of your fan. This can function as a DIY (Do It Yourself) air conditioner.
Another approach could be using exhaust fans. Portable fans and ceiling fans cool down your room, but exhaust fans function by taking out hot air.
When hot air rises, it turns-on the exhaust fan on your oven when you cook, thus taking out hot air. It also turns on the bathroom fan when you’re taking a shower.
Apart from the exhaust fan, you can also use a box fan, which points at the window. The fan will then push out any hot air through the window. So, even though you won’t get any breeze from the fan, your apartment will remain much cooler.
Cover All Windows
There is a reason why almost every apartment has open windows fixed on it. However, sometimes your apartment may be retaining heat and having poor energy-efficient mechanisms. This can be caused by poor windows maintenance. The effect of this especially may be felt during summer’s hotter months.
As we all know, windows are designed and developed to keep heat out of the house, but this is not always the case, especially in old houses. To correct this situation, you must keep the blinds closed during the times that you’re not in your apartment.
If your apartment doesn’t have blinds, you can ask your landlord to install faux wood blinds and vertical wood to allow for energy efficiency and privacy. This can also help keep cool air in your room and, at the same time, spruce it up by adding curtains on windows.
Light and simple colored fabrics also work by deflecting the sun’s rays. To further help the situation, you can buy specialty curtains, like blackout curtains and insulated drapes, to keep the heat out.
The good news is that you have several options for certain types and styles. You should, therefore, find the options that work best for you. For example, if you want to make your apartment look larger, you should hang the curtains above the windows.
With the windows closed, you can incorporate window films to keep the room even cooler. Windows films employ technology to block heat from flowing through the glass of your windows. This option also saves on your electricity bills.
Turn Off All Heat Generators
Apart from the heat from the sun during summer, there might be a lot of heat generated from electronic devices, such as television or computers. So, when you aren’t using these electronic devices, it will make sense to unplug them from their main power supply, or turn them off. It’s also important to do other activities like laundry and ironing when the day becomes cooler.
When you’re using heat generators, always have a plan. For instance, don’t turn on your oven on a hot day. Instead, you can opt to turn it on when the sun goes down.
If you own a fire pit or grill, you should start cooking outside during the season. You can also do away with cooking all together and opt for a carry-out.
The other major generators of heat in your apartment are light bulbs. If you invest in the right lighting, you may end up acquiring cold temperatures and saving on energy costs.
This is the time to move from the traditional incandescent bulbs and incorporate energy-efficient bulbs in your apartment. For instance, LEDs are known to emit less heat compared to fluorescent bulbs.
Summertime is also the time when you start turning off lights every time you leave a room. Instead of using light during the day, you should rely on the sun’s natural light.
Use Air Conditioning Properly
While the goal here is to find out the best way to keep your apartment cool, independent of A/C, certain climates don’t make the approach realistic, or safe. It would help if you, therefore, utilized the A/C efficiently and properly.
If your apartment doesn’t have an A/C, you should check with your state laws since it may be required that your landlord provides you with the air conditioning.
The preferred energy setting for an air conditioning unit is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this may seem warm, everything will be comfortable if you pair this approach with the tricks and tips above.
If the 78-degree temperature isn’t good enough, you should not set the air conditioner too low. For instance, if you set the temperature to 60, your apartment will cool down slowly. On the other hand, if you forget to set it back to the normal temperature, the unit may end up overworking and increase your energy costs exponentially.
It’s therefore important that you decide the temperature that works effectively for you, and never adjust the settings any cooler. When you aren’t at home, it will help if you bump up the temperature. This will save electricity costs and take about one minute for the room to resume the preferred temperature. If you own any smart device like a thermostat, it’s possible to control everything from your mobile phone.
With all of this being said, it would be best to remember that setting the temperature isn’t the only activity that you can do to keep your A/C running smoothly. It’s important to change the filter at least once per month. Depending on your location, you can ask either your landlord or maintenance team to buy and replace a filter for you; or you can simply do it yourself.
If your environment is humid, you should invest in a dehumidifier. The function of this unit is to help your A/C. It also makes your room feel less stuffy and more cooler by taking out the extra moisture.
Try Self Cooling Tips to Keep Your Body Cool
All of the tips that we have discussed above involve working on your space. However, there are other things, such as self-cooling, that you can implement to cool yourself down during these extra warm temperatures.
The first thing you should do is drink enough cold water. It’s a must that you remain hydrated, especially if you stay in an extremely warm environment. Cold water will, therefore, play a role in keeping you healthy.
This is also the best time to think about materials. You should invest in seasonal bedding and wear moisture-wicking and lightweight cotton materials. Avoid the extra blankets and incorporate lightweight cooling pillows and sheets. If the nights are uncomfortable, invest in cooling mattress pads.
Additional Tips to Keep Your Apartment Cool
Here are a few other tricks that you can employ:
Try to Optimize Cold Air Flow
You can try to create a natural flow of cold air to and from your apartment by closing the doors when not in the house. However, keep doors to your apartment open when you are home. A flow of cold air can help your apartment stay cool.
Avoid Heat Generating Kitchen Equipments
There is so much equipment that generates a lot of heat in the kitchen. Here, you can try redirecting the kitchen energy. Switch off the energy sources if you aren’t using them.
Open Windows Every Time at Night
During summer, the nights have cooler air, compared to the day. Therefore, it would help if you open your windows at night to allow cool air to get into your house.
Repaint the Apartment Using Light Colors
It’s a proven fact that light colors, such as white, don’t absorb much light. Instead, these colors will reflect light and heat. You should, therefore, repaint your house with them when the weather gets hot.
Health Risks That Come From Overheating
Excessive heat, especially during the summer season, isn’t something that you can take lightly. It can cause serious harm to your body, or even your precious items.
Your body will inform you that it’s getting hot by sweating. Whether you are engaged in a heavy activity or exposed to hot weather, anything that raises your body’s temperature causes sweating.
Some of the effects of exposure to overheating include:
Your body might fail to keep up with the demands of self-cooling through sweating. This may lead to no more sweating, thus leading to a continued rise in body temperatures. This can get your body temperature to about 104 degrees, thus exposing your health to danger.
Here, your body temperature will rise, but at a rate that is slower than that of heatstroke. It’s often associated with dehydration and involves an increase in the level of sweating.
This results from an allergic reaction to sweat or heat. This happens any time that the body overheats as a result of a hot bath or workout. It can also happen when it’s very hot during summer, or when you’re nervous and uncomfortable.
It is common knowledge that summers are very hot and uncomfortable for a lot of people. When you find yourself in such a situation, you must follow the tips discussed above to get a reliable solution. We hope that you manage to keep your family apartment cool during the summer heat.