Summer means ice cream, trips to the beach, barbecues and a massive utility bill from blasting your air conditioning all day. Here are a few natural yet stylish ways to stay cool this summer without spending a fortune on your utilities.
Invest in Chic Sun-Blocking Blinds
Large, south-facing windows might offer you tons of natural light, but they could also be heating up your house. To prevent hot rays of sunlight from battling it out with your AC unit all day, pick out attractive blinds or curtains that block the sunlight. This will go a long way toward keeping your house cool and shady during the scorching summer months.
You don’t have to pick out dark, gloomy colors if you don’t want to. Light-colored bamboo blinds or an attractively patterned fabric with a light-blocking lining are two great alternatives to utilitarian blackout blinds. You can also find blackout curtains in a variety of light, summery shades.
Plant Shade Trees Around Your House
A great way to create natural shade is to plant shade trees around your house. Leafy deciduous trees create a lot of shade and could cut your energy bill dramatically. Trees placed on the west or northwest of your house will provide the most shelter from the hot mid- to the late-afternoon sun.
If you don’t already have trees around your property, consider planting some fast-growing shade trees that will fill out and provide cool, soothing shade in no time. Does that sound too expensive or too much work? Then arrange some strategic shrubbery beneath your windows to provide extra shade as well as an attractive view.
Place Fans Around Your House
Keeping the air moving around your house will bring relief from the heavy, humid atmosphere. Some well-placed fans mean you can go for longer stretches of time without turning on money-sucking HVAC units. And fans don’t have to be eyesores. A ceiling fan is a fantastic way to keep the air moving. Alternatively, invest in some discreet, aesthetic fans that don’t take up much space. Tower fans look great placed thoughtfully in a hidden nook. Window fans are other options that don’t take up excess space or draw the eye to bulky electronics.
Add Some Insulation
It might sound counterproductive, but effective insulation will keep cool air inside your house. This means your AC won’t be working overtime to keep your surroundings cool. If your house is poorly insulated and you shudder at the idea of paying a fortune on invasive, messy installations, don’t despair. You can actually inject insulation foam into walls with minimal fuss. This will save you money on your energy bill and help keep your home at the perfect temperature for longer in both the summer and winter. The biggest bonus? You won’t even know it’s there, so it won’t interfere with your home’s aesthetics.
Now you can treat yourself to some fun in the sun with all the money you’ll save on your utility bill this summer.