To keep your house cooler and reduce air conditioning bills during the summer:
- Paddle Fans: To keep cool use paddle ceiling fans set to rotate in a counterclockwise direction when looking up. Since they don’t cool the air, just the people in the room, run paddle fans only when the room is occupied.
- Attic Vent Fans: Add an attic exhaust fan near the peak of your roof to keep the attic cooler, lower air conditioning bills, and make your roof last longer.
- Block Sunlight: Lower blinds or close curtains on sunny windows during the day to reduce solar heat gain in your home.
- Apply Window Film: Another way to reduce solar heat gain in your house is by applying window film to the inside of single pane windows and glass doors.
- Install Low-E Glass: When installing new windows on your home, make sure the glass comes with a Low-E coating suitable for your climate. Low-E coatings also reduce UV rays from sunlight that can damage and fade furniture, fabric, and rugs.
Go to our Summer Survival Guide for summer related home and yard tips, projects, severe weather info, and more!
- How to Use Paddle Ceiling Fans Properly (article)
- How to Size Exhaust Attic Vent Fans (article)
- How to Apply Window Film (video)
- Choosing Replacement Windows for your Home (video)
Danny Lipford: Now, heat can make you very uncomfortable. There are a few things that you can do to make life a little easier. One of the easiest ways to cool off this time of the year is the addition of a ceiling fan to a room. Even if you have air conditioning the constant moving air generated by a ceiling fan will make it feel cooler than it actually is. And adding one to an outside living area can make all the difference in how comfortable that space might be. The key thing to remember is that in warm weather you want that fan turning counter-clockwise as you look up at it from the ground.
Adding an exhaust fan to your attic is another great way to stay cool, because it pushes out the hot air at the top of your attic, drawing in cooler air from the socket or overhang areas. If you choose one that’s powered by its own solar cells you can see all these benefits without adding one cent to your utility bill.
To minimize heat gain in your home from exposure to the sun there’s several things that you can do. The easiest is simply draw the blinds to stop some solar heat gain, or add window film to the inside surface of single-pane windows to do the same thing without obstructing the view. The ideal solution though is to install windows with a Low-E coating. This coating filters the sunlight, letting in visible light while it blocks UV rays. So, you not only keep the inside cooler, you protect your furnishings from fading as well.