Summer is just around the corner. And that could mean beach getaways and cross-country road trips for those who have been fully vaccinated. But for people who may still need to stay indoors, summer could mean chilling at home and bonding with the family.
But the heat could be more unbearable this year, especially if you’ve been in quarantine with the same people for a long time. With preparation and few home improvement hacks, however, you can stay cool and enjoy your time indoors. What’s more, investing in natural cooling techniques can lower your electricity bills, which tend to spike during summer, especially in hot climates.
Check out these summer home hacks to keep your home breezy throughout the season:
1. Clean your AC
It’s the perfect time of year to spoil your AC with some TLC. Before the season rolls in, start looking for air-conditioning service and have your unit checked, cleaned, and tuned up for optimal performance. Rainfall during summer also makes the air thick and moist, so be sure to set your AC to “dry” mode to reduce the humidity inside your house.
2. Declutter your home
A cluttered room can be an eyesore, which could affect your mood during summer. Combine that with the summer heat, and you’ll find yourself feeling more irritable than usual. Breeze through summer on Zen mode by decluttering your home, organizing your stuff, and keeping the house tidy. More often than not, our body temperature or perception of warmth or cold can be influenced by our environment.
3. Invest in breathable fabric
If winter is the season for wool throws and knits, summer is the time to bring out your sheer curtains and light, airy fabrics. Leather sofas, for instance, would feel warm in winter but sticky and hot during summer. Replace your heavy black-out drapes with lighter and brighter alternatives and swap your cozy sheets with temperature-regulating options. Rest assured, you’ll sleep better and without breaking a sweat or cranking up your AC.
4. Paint your living room with brighter colors
It is common knowledge that bright colors reflect sunlight and the accompanying heat, while dark colors absorb them. Bright colors also make your room feel lighter and look cooler. A new paint job is definitely a cost-effective way to improve your home’s indoor temperature during hot days. If you’re not a fan of all-white interiors, go with cool grays, corals, and pastels instead. If you have bulky furniture in dark colors, consider painting them with brighter colors, too.
5. Buy rugs for every room
Did you know that rugs are great at cooling a room? They not only trap in the cool air and prevents hot air from circulating, but they also help your air conditioner cool the room faster. On top of that, area rugs and runner rugs make your room look cleaner and more stylish. And if you have dark flooring, cover it with bright-colored rugs to keep your house bright and airy.
6. Switch to cooler materials
If you live in a subtropical or tropical location, it’s best to use materials that don’t retain heat. For floors, use natural stone and ceramic and porcelain tiles instead. Hardwood and wood laminates tend to absorb heat, making your house warmer during summer. To make your bedrooms cooler, it would be best to cover your wood floors with carpet as this material helps your AC cool the room more efficiently.
7. Stock up on houseplants
Plants are a natural cooling remedy during summer. Not only do they help purify the air and keep the room cool, but they are also pleasing to the eye. Any greenery has a cooling effect that can positively affect your mood. The best plants to have during a heatwave include rubber plant, ficus benjamina, Chinese evergreen, and mother-in-law’s tongue. And if you have a backyard, consider planting tall shrubs for extra shade.
8. Improve ventilation
A poorly ventilated room could get stuffy and hot during summer, so it’s important to invest in an efficient ventilation system. If you have the budget for it, consider installing more windows and opt for bigger ones. Take advantage of natural breezes by placing a door and window or two windows across the opposite sides. This will facilitate cross-ventilation. Another way to improve ventilation is to point fans from across the room towards the windows.
Summer-izing your home doesn’t have to put a dent in your pocket. More often than not, it only takes rethinking your space, updating the layout, and making small and inexpensive upgrades.