How To Keep Your House Cool Without AC – Part 4.
When 100-degree heatwaves strike, should you close windows or leave them open? How do you keep the upstairs cool naturally?Sit back with a glass of ice tea and practice using that old paper fan correctly. Move it languidly not fast! Practice with your non-dominant hand so you can actually do something with your dominant hand – like scrolling down to read more.
Blocking heat from the outside:
One step up from blocking the sun from the inside of your windows is to keep direct sunshine off your windows entirely with outside shades and awnings. Properly designed awnings can stay up all winter—the angle of the sun is lower then, so sunshine can come in when you want it. Somewhat less expensive, more portable, and less obtrusive from outside, mesh shades can be installed over the outside of your windows for use during hot weather, and removed for the heating season.
Use Plants strategically planted to save you money.
Vines, trees, and shrubbery are also great ways of keeping direct sunshine off your house and yard, and they actually work to cool the air, as well! When sunshine hits their living leaves, plants release oxygen, gas, and water. As the water evaporates, it absorbs heat. While it takes a while to grow a big shade tree, in a single season you can grow annual vines on trellises to shade walls or even roofs. And fast-growing flowers like sunflowers, planted along the sunny side of the house, can create a good deal of shade along walls during the summer and early fall. In just a few years fast-growing shrubs can grow to a sufficient height to replace them. In all but the Deep South, select trees and shrubs that lose their leaves in the winter so the sun can shine through when you want some free solar heating. And make sure you plant trees and shrubbery in the right spots; a recent study found that shade trees planted on the south and west were most effective at cooling homes, while those planted on the north and east could actually increase your utility bills.