4 Tricks to Keep Your Home Cool When You Live In the Desert
Desert-dwellers everywhere know the true struggle of hot, dry summers without a break from the heat. When you live in the desert, every moment of relief from the heat counts, especially during the dog days of summer. If you live in a hot, dry climate, home heating may not be as much of a struggle. But when it comes to long summers, you always want to make sure you have your annual hvac repair appointment scheduled and your windows working overtime to keep your home’s cool air circulating during the day and night. But even if your air conditioning unit is in tip-top shape, you’ll want to keep looking for ways to keep it working more efficiently than ever. From drawing the blinds to keeping the lights turned down on hotter days, here are a few tips that will help your desert home stay cool and dry all summer long.
1. Cover Those Windows
Windows can be a great source of light and air during the summer mornings when mugginess hasn’t set in yet. However, they can also do a lot more harm than good when things start to heat up in the afternoon, especially if your house doesn’t get a lot of natural shade. When it comes to keeping your home cool and making the most of your air conditioning, it helps to keep the rooms in your home as dark and shaded as possible. That means installing blinds, drapes, or even larger tarps and hanging tapestries over the windows to block out the sunlight. This goes double for rooms on your higher floors, where the heat rises to. If you want to avoid coming home to a stuffy bedroom at night, keeping your windows covered is key. Just remember: Dark fabrics attract the sunlight and trap it in, while cooler-colored, lighter fabrics like linen keep the sun out without absorbing the heat and creating a stuffy atmosphere. For best results, keep your home windows covered from the outside with awnings and covered from the inside with whatever materials you can get your hands on.
2. Keep the Lights Off
Keeping things dark and protected from the sun doesn’t just have to do with covering your windows all day. If you live in a hot, dry area, you also want to make sure not to keep the lights on all day. If any rooms or even floors of your home aren’t in use, draw the blinds, pull down the shades, and turn off all the lights in your house. You’ll come home to a dark, cool paradise after work before you even have to turn on the air conditioner. When you do fire it up, your home will already be sealed from sunlight, allowing your A/C unit to work more effectively. Instead of wasting energy (and money) waiting for your air conditioner to work overtime cooling a muggy, hot space, use the time you spend away from home to prep your house for a cool night free of tossing and turning. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save each month by allowing your air conditioner to work smarter, not harder.
3. Use Fans Everywhere
If you’ve lived in the desert for a long time, you already know that fans are your best friend. They circulate air when things get too muggy and keep you from getting overly sweaty on hot days. They can also work wonders for a home that only has a few well-placed air conditioners rather than central air. If you’re cost-conscious and want to cool your home more effectively, use smaller standing fans or box fans to circulate the cool air from your A/C around the house. That way, you don’t have to confine the cool atmosphere to one room of your house. Rather than using fans to pull hot air in from the outside and circulate it, you can create a breezier inside atmosphere using only one air conditioning unit.
4. Hang Up Tarps
If you don’t have any natural shade surrounding your desert home, it won’t take long before you start to feel the heat, big time. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution when it comes to creating shade for a house sitting in the sun’s direct glare all day. Hang up tarps and white sheets outside so you can protect your home’s windows from soaking up all that glaring sun. Your home can use all the shade it can get during the summer, so don’t underestimate the simple effect of a few tarps hung outside, especially over windows that are too large or irregularly-shaped to benefit from awnings.