Cooling tips to beat the heat

Cooling tips to beat the heat

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As summer heats up in Oregon, it can be tricky to keep your home cool and comfortable. Here are a few no-cost and low-cost tips to make your home more pleasant during the heat wave and save energy, too.

Power down to cool off. Home appliances, electronics and standard light bulbs create heat when they’re on. The less you use them on a hot day, the cooler you’ll be.

  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs. CFLs and LEDs use less energy, last longer and produce very little heat compared to standard light bulbs.
  • Skip the oven and use the microwave, cook on the stovetop or grill outside.
  • Wait until you have a full load to run your clothes washer, use cold water and hang clothes outside to dry.
  • Run your dishwasher in the evening when it’s cooler, and let dishes air dry.
  • Check out a Kill A Watt monitor from participating libraries to measure the energy use of your household appliances and electronics.

Use your windows strategically. Windows allow heat into your home when they’re open or uncovered during the day.

  • During the day, close your windows and close the blinds, shades or curtains to keep heat outside. Light-colored window coverings help reflect heat.
  • When temperatures drop, open your windows and doors to draw in cooler air at night or early in the morning.
  • When it’s cool outside, use fans in windows to pull cool air in and draw warm air out. A box fan or window-mounted fan on the north side or shady side of your house can draw in cool air. A second fan on the opposite side of the house can blow hot air out.
  • Consider installing an ENERGY STAR® ceiling fan, which can move air up to 20 percent more efficiently than conventional models.

Keep hot air out and cool air in. Sealing air leaks and insulating your home can reduce cooling and heating costs and make your home more comfortable.

  • Add caulk or weatherstripping around leaky doors and windows.
  • Look for holes or cracks hidden in attics, basements and crawlspaces and seal them with caulk, spray foam or weatherstripping.

Investing in additional home upgrades like installing insulation and upgrading to energy-efficient windows can make your home more comfortable for summer and winters to come. Learn more about weatherizing your home and find a qualified Energy Trust trade ally contractor near you who can complete your project and help you get cash incentives.

Find more tips on keeping your cool here.