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Jul 2, 2014 | Energy Efficiency | 4 comments

10 ways to beat the heat this summer

The scorching hot days and steaming, muggy nights have returned. It’s time to break out the bathing suits, hats, sunscreen and other things “summer.” On some of the hottest days of summer, it might feel like you can’t escape the heat and humidity, especially if you don’t have air conditioning.

Have you given up hope that you’ll find a way to cool down? Think again – I’ve got good news for you. There are lots of ways to beat the heat.

  1. Switch out your light bulbs – Install LED lights because they produce light without producing much extra heat like more traditional incandescent bulbs.
  2. Use the wind-chill factor – I like to use a portable fan to blow cooler air toward my face or feet. But don’t forget to turn your ceiling fan off when you leave the room. Remember: Fans cool people, not rooms.
  3. Save it for later – Wait to do heat-producing tasks like baking, using the dishwasher and laundry until cooler hours.
  4. Use windows and blinds to your advantage – Open your windows to let in the cooler air at night. Close your blinds or curtains during the day to keep sunlight from heating up the air inside your house. Have you tried insulated or blackout curtains? They do a terrific job keeping the sun at bay.
  5. Change your scenery – Visit public places that are air-conditioned. See a movie, read a juicy book at the library or window shop at the mall.
  6. Get low – Hang out and sleep in the basement or lowest floor in your home because it will be cooler than floors at higher levels.
  7. Break out your bathing suit – Find your favorite body of water, whether it’s the pool, lake or even the ocean, and cannonball in. If you don’t feel like leaving home, cool off with an outdoor shower using a garden hose and sprinkler. .
  8. Dress appropriately – Wear thin, loose clothing that will let your skin breathe. Stick to lighter colors.
  9. Switch up how you cook – Avoid using the oven because it can turn your house into an oven. Instead, step outside and use your grill. Or try to eat meals that don’t require cooking, like a salad. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  10. Seal it up — Make sure cracks and gaps around doors and windows are sealed. Just as you don’t want to let cold air into your home in winter, you also don’t want to let warm air in during the summer.

Ahhh. Relief.


  1. barry amato

    Number 5 I mean really are you serious. That I have to spend time away from the place I spend thousands of dollars a year to be at so as to afford my electric bill. May I suggest a dividend cut instead?

  2. Terry

    Barry, last I checked, libraries and malls are free.

  3. Tim

    To expand on item 4 consider awnings for your windows and trees to shade the house.

    Referring to item 10 consider getting a home energy audit to further identify ways to insulate and draft-proof your home. Funny it wasn’t mentioned, but PPL can actually help you with this:

  4. Reuben

    #4 its ill advised to open your windows at night only if the relative humidity of that cooler air is below 50% other wise you’re just adding an additonal moisture load for your a/c system to handle the next day. if you don’t have a/c that’s a whole different discussion.


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