Keep cool in the summer with these handy tips and tricks.
1. Use heavy, dark curtains and drapes over your windows during the daytime to keep sunlight and heat out of your living quarters. Keep the curtains drawn at night to invite cooler evening air in.
2. Use less carpets and rugs. These materials insulate your home; opt instead for a bare floor.
3. Keep your kitchen airy and well-ventilated when you're cooking. Heat from your oven can seep in to other parts of the house.
4. Opt for thinner sheets and blankets on your bed. For optimum comfort, use cotton and light-colored materials. Use buckwheat pillows, too -- they have more air space inside which keeps you cool, unlike down pillows.
5. Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) instead of incandescent bulbs, which use up and emit more heat and energy. CFLs will also make your home more energy-efficient, saving you a pretty penny or two on your electrical bill.
6. Foliage provides shade. Plant trees, shrubs, hedges, large leafy plants, or hanging vines around your home or close to your windows.
7. Shut the door to areas of the home that tend to be warmer, keeping heat from permeating to the rest of the house.
8. Paint your roof a lighter color. Dark colors absorb more heat and light, whereas light colors reflect them, keeping heat from seeping into your home.