How to Beat the Heat Without Air Conditioning

Today, it is 95 degrees outside, but its 78 degrees in my house. I do not have air conditioning. Just how do I do it?

I have some ideas that may help you beat the summer heat even if you do not have air conditioning. These tips may also help you save on that electric bill if you do have air conditioning.

I have to start with the importance of insulation. If you really want to keep the heat out in the summer and the heat inside in the winter, this is all too important. Yes, it can be an expensive fix to your heat issue, but it is well worth it in the long run. Also, most states do have a state funded Home Weatherization Program. With this, a state approved contractor will do the work of insulating your home. You then pay little or nothing if you fall within the income guidelines. In Ohio, the Home Weatherization Program is good for rented as well as owner occupied homes and mobile homes. Do yourself a favor and check your state’s website to see if you qualify for a Home Weatherization Program.

The next thing you need to check is your windows to see if the heat is entering around them. Make sure that all of your windows are properly caulked and sealed. My home was built in the early 1940’s. It’s a small brick 2 story bungalow. I have the old vertical crank out windows in metal frames. Also, all of my window sills are the same Italian marble as my living room fireplace. Call it vanity, but I just couldn’t bring myself to replace the windows because I would lose my window sills too. This alone kept me from thinking about window air conditioners simply because they won’t fit. However, I was still able to help my windows keep the heat out. I made a trip to my local hardware store and found reflective heat control window film. What I chose was Gila Platinum Heat Control Window Film. I was able to get a 4ft x 15ft roll for under $50.00. If you have ever worked with contact paper, it’s almost like that, but worse. It does tend to roll back on itself and stick to itself if you’re not careful. I strongly suggest practicing with it before actually applying it to your windows. A little trick I learned was how to remove the air bubbles. Use a small straight pin to prick a whole in the bubble and rub the air out. Yes, it does take some practice but well worth the results.

Now, let’s move on to your window coverings and how they help to keep the heat out. I used to be a curtain and drape junkie. I was forever changing them. In the spring, I would put up nice light summer drapes. In the fall, my heavy insulated drapes would be hung. I had to give up on the whole mini blind idea years ago due to my cats destroying them. I stopped changing them a few years ago. Why? Because those nice heavy insulated drapes that are marketed in the winter for keeping all that cold air outside also work quite well at keeping the heat out in the summer.

In order for the preceeding heat reduction tips to work, it is imperative that you pay attention to your local weather report. Just because its 75 comfortable degrees one day doesn’t mean it won’t be 94 hot degrees the next day. If the heat is headed your way, close up your house. No less than 24 hours before the weatherman says it’s going to be warmer outside than I want it to be inside, I close everything. This way, I am able to maintain the temperature inside my house where I want it. Maybe someday I’ll consider central air. Until that day comes, I’ll keep my $50.00 a month electric bill in the hot summer months. For me, keeping my home cool this way just makes sense and saves me allot of cents in the process.

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