Thursday, August 19

Is your house cool?

This month we have experienced mind-blowing heat in Oklahoma--as well as many other areas of the U.S. Until this past weekend the temperature in Tulsa had been well over 100 degrees for almost three weeks straight. It's amazing how nice 90 degrees can feel.

That said, 90 degrees really only feels nice when you're outside. When it's 90 degrees INSIDE all you want to do is collapse naked in front of a fan. My A/C is blowing cold air, but just can't seem to cool the house sufficiently when it's so hot. Of course, I should call the repairman. However, with summer coming to a close and a break from the extreme heat, I'm finding it hard to justify the cost and time away from work.

Just in case you are in a similar situation, here are a few ideas of ways to help cool your home.
  • For starters, it's amazing what a difference fans can make. I have a fan in each bedroom and one in the eating area. The living area was the main room I was having trouble with so I finally bought a portable fan. Even when the thermostat says 90 the rooms are bearable with fans.
  • PSO says that "almost 40% of the heat that builds up in your home enters through the windows." One suggestion they made was reflective window coatings (plastic sheets treated with dyes or thin layers of metal). These deflect up to 97% of infrared heat away from the interior of your home. I've also read that double-paned windows are more weather resistant so your home is less susceptible to outdoor temperatures. 
  • While on the topic of windows, creating a cross-breeze by opening windows in the cooler parts of the day will help with your home's ventilation. During the afternoon shut all windows and doors and crank up the A/C. I mainly do this in the spring and fall when A/C is more of an option than a necessity.
  • Insulation is another important house feature that will help maintain your home's temperature. Good insulation will keep the heat out in the summer and keep it in during the winter. Make sure that exterior walls, attic space and areas around air vents are well-insulated.
  • Shutting blinds and curtains during the sunniest parts of the day will keep the sun from heating the house as quickly. Cultivating shady plants near your home will also help.
  • Using appliances such as ovens, dryers or dishwashers causes the air around them to warm. Avoiding use of larger appliances during the hotter parts of the day means the A/C won't need to work as hard.
  • As a last note, make sure all your expensive cold air isn't escaping through poorly sealed doors and windows. Many energy companies offer efficiency screenings, but often you can find places that need to be caulked on your own. For example, I know my decorative front door has a few paper-thin cracks (I just haven't had a chance to seal them).
Hope you all are enjoying our cooler weather! Have to say--warm house and all--I'm a summer girl. I'm hoping that we still have a couple months of beautiful weather before the drudgery of winter.


  1. That's interesting about the cross breeze. Unfortunately I'm not sure we'd get much of that here in Texas in August! But I could see that being great in the spring!

  2. Heather, that's true for Oklahoma as well. I do love opening the windows in the spring and fall, but in the summer it would just make matters worse. :) Thanks for stopping by the blog!


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