As the temperature starts to rise in Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul, so does the temptation to crank up the air conditioning. However, frequent use of HVAC systems can lead to a spike in your energy bill. Fortunately, there are natural ways to keep your home cool, even during those sweltering Minnesota summers. Here are some of our top ten tips:
1. Close Blinds and Curtains
Up to 30% of your heat comes from your windows. Keep your blinds closed and curtains drawn to prevent the sun from turning your home into a sauna.
2. Use White Window Reflectors
Place white fabric or cardboard against your windows to reflect the sun’s rays away from your home. This can significantly reduce indoor temperatures.
3. Open Windows at Night
Once the sun sets, outdoor temperatures generally drop. Use this opportunity to open your windows to let in the cool night air.
4. Use Ceiling Fans Wisely
Ceiling fans should run counter-clockwise during the summer to pull hot air upward and circulate fresh air.
5. Block Out Heat with Greenery
Plants not only provide shade but also release moisture into the air, which can help cool down surrounding areas. Consider placing potted plants near windows or planting shade trees outside.
6. Create a Cross-Breeze
If possible, position fans across from open windows to create a cross-breeze. This can circulate air throughout the room, pushing hot air out and bringing in cool air.
7. Install Cool Roofing
Switch to a cool-roofing system that reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat. This can be a significant investment, but it pays off in the long run.
8. Cook Outside
Using the oven or stove can heat up your home quickly. Instead, grill outdoors, use a slow cooker, or stick to salads and cold dishes to keep your kitchen cool.
9. Unplug Electronics
Even when they’re not in use, electronic devices can generate heat. Unplug gadgets when they’re not needed.
10. Invest in a Whole-House Fan
While this involves some upfront investment, a whole-house fan can be very effective. These fans pull in cool air from open windows and expel hot air through the attic, efficiently cooling down your entire home.
While we’re always here for your heating and air conditioning needs—with 24-hour emergency service to boot—there are also numerous natural strategies to keep your Twin Cities home cool this summer. So before you reach for the thermostat, try implementing some of these tips to beat the heat naturally.