The two most feared summer words used together are arguably “heat” and “wave.” When used with one another, these words often give off a feeling of intense dread about the hot days that are to come.

Even if your home does have functioning air-conditioning, there are plenty of ways to cool down your home without it that leave less of a footprint on your energy bill. So whether you need some tactics in lieu of air conditioning or you’re looking for ways to cool down your home without using your AC all the time, implementing the following practices can keep your home cool the next time a big heat wave rolls into your neighborhood.

Use Fans First

Waiting to turn to your AC and using fans instead will not only save you on energy, but it will also promote better air circulation and provide a nice breeze within your home. Stagnant air does little to help provide comfort or cool air during a heat wave, and fans can help eliminate stagnant hot air by providing cool airflow at all times.

Close Blinds And Use Blackout Curtains

Keeping sunlight from entering your home will work wonders to keep your home cool and free from intense heat. Simply keeping your blinds closed can have a huge impact on the temperature in your home. If you want to take it one step further, you can install blackout curtains to block out nearly all of the light coming through a window.

Get Rid Of Any Incandescent Light Bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs, right before a heat wave is the perfect time to get rid of them. Switching to compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, are much more energy-efficient and produce less heat. On the flip side, incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy through the heat they emit, so it’s a good decision to replace them with CFLs anyway.

Use Water To Your Advantage

Keeping the body cool will help you withstand hot temperatures, and water is your best tool to help you do that. Beyond staying hydrated, which is extremely crucial during hot weather, you can apply a cold, wet washcloth to your neck and forehead to cool yourself down. Dipping your feet in cold water can also help keep you cool!

Keep Doors Shut

Keeping your doors shut will help to keep cool air out of rooms you don’t use and in the rooms where you spend the most time. You should also limit the time you spend going in and out of your house to reduce the amount of hot air that enters into your home. Being cognizant of your door use may seem small, but when added to other heat-reducing habits, it can yield large results.

Sleep Downstairs If Necessary

You’ve heard this informational tidbit: hot air rises. It’s especially true during heat waves, as the second floor of your home can get much hotter than the first. To improve your ability to sleep, consider sleeping downstairs to stay cool and avoid sweating during your slumber.

Cook Outside

Using a stove or oven in your home produces a significant amount of heat, which will only add to your discomfort if you use them in a heatwave. Instead of making the inside of your home hotter, take your cooking outside to keep your home cool. Not only will it prevent unnecessary heat production, but grilling outside is often an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Let Cool Air In At Night

If the air outside cools off to temperatures lower than the inside of your home, it’s worth opening up the windows to get some cost-free air conditioning. Opening up your windows at night, especially when aided by fans, can drastically reduce the temperature of your home and do so without the use of AC.

Heat waves are very uncomfortable times and can be quite dangerous if not prepared for. But by following some of the practices above, you’ll be able to make them much more bearable as you take advantage of these simple solutions to cooling off your home.

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