We are officially in the midst of the summer heat.   In Calgary we spend most of the year thinking about staying warm and our mind never wanders over to air conditioning, but there are about 6 weeks where we feel less than genius for not having an air conditioner.  Whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling mansion, you want your living space to be comfortable and (hopefully) cool. You may have an air conditioner and just want to save some money on utilities.  You may be looking for how to survive the summer without the added cold air.  In order to keep comfortable and save some money I gathered some great tips to keep your house cool this summer.

How to Cool Your House without Using the Air Conditioner –

1. Close the blinds.  During the day when the sun is out close the windows and pull the shades.  Use blackout (room darkening) shades wherever possible. Not only will this help keep the light and heat out, it helps kids to get to sleep during those bright summer late nights. When the sun is down you can open the shades and let the cooler air in.

2. Replace light bulbs with LED bulbs.  Typical light bulbs are very inefficient, sucking electricity and putting out a lot of heat.  While they are more expensive of a purchase, they can last up to 25 years and will keep your house cooler and your electric bill lower.  Don’t forget to turn the lights off whenever you leave a room.

3. Save the chores for later. Hooray a legitimate reason to procrastinate!  Don’t heat your house by running the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, or baking.  This is what the barbeque and slow cooker are for.

4. Create a breeze when the air is cool.  Use a portable fan to blow cooler air towards you and turn the fan off when you leave the room.  The rule of fans is “fans cool people, not rooms” so only use a fan pointed towards you.  Use ceiling fans if you have them – just make sure the blades are rotating counterclockwise to bring the cold air down.  (You will want to change the direction for the winter).  Turn on the bathroom fans to take out the hot air and pull fresh outdoor air in.

5. Hang out in the basement. Heat rises so the basement will be the coldest area of the house.

6. DIY a sea breeze.  Fill a large bowl with ice and place it in front of a large fan.  Make sure the bowl is positioned in a way that the fan blows the air off the ice for a DIY sea breeeze.  Trust me, its even better than AC.

Have a great summer!