Image via dasqfamily on Flickr
If you have an air conditioned home, you can use your Nest Smart Thermostat right through the summer months. Just as it monitors the temperature to turn on the heat, getting to know your habits, it can do the same for the a/c. We don’t have a/c.That means the Nest has been set to “away” for the summer months meaning it won’t turn on and heat things up, but it also won’t cool things down. Temperatures are into the high 20s and 30s this week meaning the windows are open, I’m considering sleeping in the basement, and we’re getting out of the house just to stay cool.
Here are some ways to hack your way to a cooler summer and discover 9 ways for cooling a home without air conditioning
Windows Open On Both Sides
You want to get a cross breeze going through your house with air coming in, AND going out. So don’t just open the windows in one room, open them on opposite sides of the house. Same for upstairs – it’s not just the boys’ bedroom windows open, but all of them to get the cross breeze.
Install Screen Doors
Our back door has a retractable pull screen on it. We open that, and I prop the front door open with a shoe to get a very nice breeze going. At night make sure you keep all of your interior doors open (closets, cabinets, and cupboards too). You don’t want them storing residual heat and giving it off.
Move To The Basement
Our basement is easily 5-10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. It’s below ground, insulated by just cold cement, and while that’s a turn off in the winter, it sure makes for a relaxing place to hang out in the summer.
Close Your Blinds
Closing your blinds and curtains all day will help to block out the sun’s heat. Note: they’ll also make it more difficult to get a cross breeze going, so pick your poison.
DIY Air Conditioning
There are all sorts of life hacks to make your own air conditioning. One idea freezes a bucket of water, and then positions a fan to blow the cold air coming off the ice into your home. Here’s how it’s done:
Freeze Your Pillow
Seriously, Wikihow recommends putting your pillow in the freezer before bed (in a plastic bag so ice doesn’t form on the fabric) and then snuggling in to a cool bed. You can do the same with sheets as well. The site recommends keeping them in the coolest part of the house all day (basement) so they’re fresh and chilled for nighttime instead of being at a hotter ambient temperature.
Even turning on the toaster will give off radiant heat. The less cooking you do, the better. So keep it fresh and keep cool.
Get A Fan
You don’t necessarily want your fan to blow on you, but rather to get rid of the heat. Position it near an upstairs window or in the attic to get rid of the hot air collecting on your upper floors.
Lighten Up Your Roof
Dark tiles or roofing material will attract and absorb heat making it harder for the heat in the upper part of your house to escape. Choosing lighter roofing materials will help cool your home quicker.