1. Invest in a programmable thermostat
    • If you have A/C, the smoother and more efficient it runs, the better it will cool your house when needed. Installing a programmable thermostat makes it easier to achieve this goal. Summer temperature recommendations are:
      1. 75 degrees during hours you’re home
      2. 80 degrees during hours you’re away
      3. Sleeping: It’s well-researched that people sleep better when it’s cooler. If there’s a time to turn up the A/C a little bit, the overnight hours are the way to go.
    • Side note: Change your A/C filters regularly. Every 4-6 weeks, especially during the months of heaviest use.
  2. Keep the blinds closed!
    • Did you know that up to 30% of unwanted heat in your home is coming through your windows via the greenhouse effect? The remedy is to keep your blinds closed during the day. If this makes your home feel too dark, focus on west and south facing windows. This can help lower the mid-day temperature in your home by almost 20 degrees.
    • Take it a step farther and get light-colored blinds that will reflect, rather than absorb, the sun’s heat and open them again at night when it’s cool.
  3. Ditch the incandescent lights
    • If you ever needed the motivation to make the switch to CFLs, this is it. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90% of their energy in the heat they emit. Bonus, they also help lower your electric bill!
  4. Do your chores at night (or skip them)!
    • Laundry machines throw off a lot of heat. The washer is running hot water, and driers are obviously using heated air which inevitably escapes. Also, regularly clean the dryer vent for a quicker cycle.
    • Your dishwasher also puts out a lot of heat. Start it before you go to bed and you’ll wake up with clean dishes!
  5. Skip the oven and grill more!
    Close up of man grilling food on barbecue
    • Any usage of the oven, or even stove top is going to heat your home. So dust off the grill and learn how to make a 5 course meal on it. If you do use the stove, make sure to turn the fan on., especially if it vents to the exterior.
  6. Plant shade trees and other greenery
    • A well placed tree can make a world of difference for the comfort of your home. Vines and other tall shrubs are other options, that will have quicker results.
  7. Consider a new room or re-painting
    Metal Roof
    • If the heat in your home is a real problem, you should consider re-painting your home to a lighter color, and/or getting a new room with more heat protection, i.e. slate, concrete, clay, and metal.
  8. Keep doors open
    • While in the winter, closing doors helps keep heat in specific rooms, doing so in the hot summer months is detrimental. You want air to freely flow through rooms and through the entire house.