10 DIY hacks to keep your home cool and comfortable this summer

As temperatures start or continue to soar (depending on where in Canada you live), we’ve pulled together a few obvious and not-so-obvious hacks and tips to keep you cool in the summer months. Here are 10 things to try if you’re burning up:

1. Build a DIY air conditioner

There are a few ways to skin this cat, but if you have a fan and a freezer, you should be good to go. Easiest method is a desk fan with a bowl of ice in front of it. As the ice melts you can expect a nice, fine mist blowing your way, keeping you cool.

Another way is to spray an old sheet with ice cold water and hang it up in front of an open window. If there’s a breeze, you’ll get a cooling effect in the room. Sorry, but we can’t help with the breeze!

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2. Fan hacks

A fan is a fast and efficient way to cool a particular room such as your bedroom at night. However, fans can blow hot air out of your house as well. If a room becomes to hot during the day, use the fan to blow the hot air out by facing it outwards. When a substantial amount of air has been pushed out the window, then you can close it and start cooling it. You can also use fans to create a cooling crosswind if you have rooms opposite each other.

Ceiling fans are also a great way to cool a room by reversing the direction of the blades. Remember, clockwise in the the winter, counter clockwise in the summer.

If you have a basement and it’s cool, try using a fan to blow the cold air up stairs to the main floor.

3. Blinds, curtains or awnings to block sunlight

One of the simplest ways to keep your home cool is by installing blinds, curtains and even blackout drapes to cover your windows and patio doors. Remember to close them during the day to block the sun and heat and it will make a significant difference to your home’s temperature.

Window awnings work too and will do a great job of blocking sunlight. Awnings can be permanently fixed, temporary just for the summer, or a retractable kind that you can open or close easily.

Get a local Handyman to install your blinds and awnings so that they’re strong and secure – since opening, closing and using them often can result in ware and tear.

4. Set your thermostat to off-peak times

Hydro bills can be high during the summer months since your AC is working hard to keep your home cool. However, to be in better control, set your thermostat’s schedules for off-peak hydro times and based on a certain temperature. That way your home isn’t being cooled when you’re not there. Learn more about smart home benefits.

5. Tune your AC

If you think your AC isn’t doing a great job keeping your home cool, book a HeyBryan expert HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) Expert to inspect it. It may need a good cleaning or a tune-up to get it working efficiently.

6. Minimize oven and stovetop cooking

Your oven and stovetop can heat up a kitchen fast so consider doing more cooking outside on your barbecue, using your microwave, or changing your meals for the summer to lighter fare that doesn’t require baking or broiling.

7. Update your bedtime ritual

Sweating at night can result in dehydration, so drink an eight ounce glass of water before bed. Also, take a cold shower and keep an ice-cold hot water bottle (yes, this is an obvious oxymoron) nearby to keep your feet cold.

Unplug all your electronics at night as well. Gadgets, phones, and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off.

8. Keep moisturizers in the fridge

How good would it feel to rub cold moisturizer on your skin on a hot day? Double bonus – according to some dermatologists, applying moisturizer after being in the fridge can also reduce puffiness in the face.

9. Choose vents to direct air flow

Check all your vents around your home and decide which ones could be closed to drive cold air from your AC to the rooms where you need it. Also, inspect the vents to make sure they’re clear and if not, clean ’em out.

10. Camp in the basement on hot nights

If your top floor is really hot, camp in the basement. Make it a fun experience for the whole family by setting up a mattress on the floor with sleeping bags and having pyjama parties with popcorn and movies. Your kids will probably remember it for years!

Need help with small household tasks? Book a HeyBryan Expert so you can free up some time and enjoy the summer. We have local, vetted experts available in BC’s Lower Mainland and Ontario’s GTA, Calgary and Edmonton, waiting to accept your tasks – cleaners, lawn maintenance experts, handymen, electricians, plumbers, junk removers and more. Download the HeyBryan app and get started today!

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