10 Ways to Beat the Heat Inside Your Home

hot house with sun shining through the windows, making the room much hotter
Solar heat gain can make an otherwise comfortable home miserable. (DepositPhotos)

If climbing temperatures are turning your house into an oven and causing the air conditioning bill to go through the roof, read on for 10 quick, affordable tips to beat the heat and save energy.


Woman with well-manicured and polished fingernails adjusts her window blinds to block out the sun
Blocking the sun with shades or blinds is one way to reduce solar heat gain. (DepositPhotos)

1. Close Blinds and Curtains

Mini blinds or curtains can reduce the sunlight and heat streaming in through your windows.

At my house, simply installing blinds on the south-facing windows completely changed the temperature in that part of the house.

Make sure blinds or curtains are white on the side facing the outdoors — white reflects the sun more than other colors.

Solar sun screens and window film are other options that can greatly reduce the heat coming through windows.


LED light bulb beside a piggy bank wish cash on the side
In addition to producing less heat, LED bulbs have another benefit: They drastically reduce your energy bill. (©igorkol_ter, Adobe Stock Photos)

2. Install Cool Lighting

Incandescent light bulbs can significantly heat up a room. That’s just one reason why more and more homeowners have turned to alternatives.

Another reason is they’re not energy-efficient and alternatives, such as CFLs and LEDs, last much longer.

Replace standard bulbs with high-efficiency, low-heat LED (light-emitting diodes) bulbs, and turn off the lights when they’re not needed.


Grilling corn on the cob and barbecue outside
Cooking outdoors on a grill, rather than inside on a stove, keeps your house cooler. (DepositPhotos)

3. Cook Wisely

Eat cold meals, cook outside on the grill, or use the microwave for cooking, when possible, to minimize heat indoors.

Here’s how to beat the heat when you do cook indoors:

  • Use pressure cookers and slow cookers
  • Cover pots to minimize indoor humidity.
  • Use a range hood or microwave vent fan to vent hot air outside.
  • Check the oven by turning on the light and looking through the glass, rather than opening the oven door.
  • Turn the oven off a few minutes before food is cooked to reduce oven heat.

Sconces from Kichler Lighting on both sides of Barbara Crigler's television above her mantel
TVs and other electronic devices can produce heat, even if turned off, unless unplugged.

4. Turn Off Electronics

Computers, TVs and other electronics generate quite a bit of heat when sitting idle or even when turned off, so unplug devices when they’re not in use.

Another easy way to beat the heat these electronics produce is to plug them into a surge protector that has an on/off switch, then turn the switch off when the devices are not in use.


Adding lock to window.
Adding locks to windows can help them close tighter and reduce heat in your house.

5. Repair Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are a major source of heat gain in the house. Older single-pane windows and doors without proper weatherstripping are the worst culprits.

So keep windows closed and locked, and doors tightly closed to prevent cool air from escaping.

If you can’t replace your windows and doors with more energy-efficient models, repair any gaps or replace weatherstripping around windows and doors.

Also, don’t open windows at night unless the temperature drops to the mid-70s Fahrenheit or lower.

Have more questions about HVAC projects around your home?

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Having foil radiant barriers in the attic is very useful in reducing the trapped heat inside the walls of the home. This ensures that the temperatures remain down and home remains cooler, naturally. Low on electricity consumption also. High on savings too.

  2. Can you tell me more about using window film on dual pane windows? We are suffering a terrible drought and heat here in Forks, Washington. Because it is normally cool here, we don’t have air conditioning. Thank you!

  3. A lot of heat energy is delivered to your house in the form of rays from the sun. If you have blinds that will block the light from entering the house and reflecting a bunch of it back outside, less heat energy is dumped inside. And things stay cooler.

    Obviously the color of your blinds will also play a role, dark colored blinds will absorb a portion of the energy and act as radiators in your house. White blinds will reflect most of the energy back out again.

  4. Fans really help alot during the morning. We don’t turn the A/C on during the morning cuz it really works twice as hard to keep the house or room cool. Having fans and opening windows really help the circulation of air in the whole household.

  5. HOLA MR DANNY, WE BOUGHT A HOME LAST YEAR, AND HAVE BEING DOING REPAIRS, REMODELING ETC,ETC.

    I WANT TO ENHANCE OUR FRONT PORCH. WE HAVE PLASTIC SHUTTERS, THEY ARE FADED FROM THE SUN. MY ? IS CAN WE PAINT THEM OR NEED TO REPLACE THEM? WE ARE TRYING TO SPEND AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, SO WE CAN DO MORE THINGS TO THE HOUSE.

    SECOND ? WE HAVE THE “FAMOUS” FRONT PILLARS ON THE FRONT PORCH. THEY ARE PEELING, WE WANT TO PAINT THEM SO EVERYTHING WILL LOOK NICE. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO START WORKING ON THEM. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. BY THE WAY I JUST LOVE YOUR SHOWS, THEY ARE VERY INSTRUCTIVE AND INTERESTING 🙂

  6. Hi Julie,

    All the ideas you’ve shared are very helpful to keep the house cool.

    I would like to add one more, we can use solar reflective paint additive for the same.

    Just add a solar reflective paint additive in to the paint and apply it on exterior walls to reflect the solar waves.

  7. The biggest single improvement I made was replacing an old solid wood door with and insulated steel door. Very noticeable temp change and it’s better security as well.

    Secondly, I replace the air filters on the first of each month and pour a little bit of bleach down the drain pipe while I’m in there.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with the Today’s Homeowner community!
      TH community members helping other TH community members — we love it. 🙂

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