Urban Natural Homes August 14, 2016

Home Tips for Staying Cool when it’s Hot Outside


It’s become quite apparent over the last number of years that our overall weather patterns are changing and that more and more hot days are coming our way. And as many of us Northwesterners (myself included) melt when the thermometer peaks, I’ve compiled a list of home ideas for beating the increasing heat that we’ve all been facing. Some are simple and straight-forward, while others might require some expert assistance.

Some simple ideas for beating the heat include:

  • Open your windows when you get up in the morning to get a cool cross-breeze going. As the day heats up, close windows and blinds. Then open them up again after the sun sets.
  • If you want to let light in during the day, open a few windows that don’t face the sun. Open and close different shades as the sun moves through the day.
  • Install black-out shades, especially in the rooms you sleep in, and keep them closed during the day.
  • Install ceiling fans in the main rooms of your house.
  • Don’t cook on stove-tops or ovens on hot days. Instead use the BBQ or prepare meals that don’t require cooking.
  • Don’t run heat-producing appliances, such as dryers and dishwashers, during the day. Instead, wait until evening time when it’s starting to cool down.

Here are a few more advanced tips/thoughts for beating the heat in your home: the layout and openings in our homes create a complex scenario for either encouraging or discouraging cross-ventilation, which is the easiest and most natural way to cool our homes. Both builders and architects can be a huge asset for figuring out how new openings in your home; perhaps through new windows, vents, or wall reconfigurations, could dramatically increase cross-ventilation. And finally, here’s one idea that I bet you’ve probably never considered: thoughtful landscaping can use garden plantings to direct, and even cool down, breezes before they enter a home. So consider adding the advice of a landscape architect for keeping your home cool and comfortable during our increasingly hot days.