1) Texas Cool
This is one of the simplest methods on our list, but it may also be one of the most effective. "Texas cool" refers to a morning and evening routine that mitigates the effects of the sunniest, hottest part of the day. Overnight, when the temperature is lowest, open the windows and draw in cool air with a window or whole house fan. When the sun pokes over the horizon, and the air begins to heat up, shut the windows, keep the doors closed, and pull the drapes and blinds. This technique is also very useful for those who want to keep their cooling bills down; according to Green Home Guide, it can save you between 20 to 50 percent, depending on how often you employ it.
2) Use Sun-blockers and Fans
These seem like obvious steps, but the numbers behind them are pertinent. As much as 20 percent of the heat that enters your house does so as "solar gain," exclusively from sunlight heating up surfaces. Curtains, blinds, awnings and other sun-blockers can ease the effects of this form of heat, making the temperature in your home that much more manageable. For those who are able, strategically planted trees can also provide a natural sunblock, particularly for late in the day light.
Fans are an extremely useful tool in the summer, costing a few cents an hour to run, and they can be optimized for premium performance. If you have a ceiling fan, make sure that it is spinning counter-clockwise in the summer. This will force air downward, making a room feel four to six degrees cooler.
3) Use Your Grill In A Way You Never Imagined
This one comes to us courtesy of the blog at Clayton Homes, and I've got to say, I never would have thought of it. When you do go out in the early evening hours, you may be bothered by mosquitoes, which are most active during this cooler part of the day. Instead of using chemical-laden insect repellent candles, you can turn your grill or barbeque into an anti-mosquito urn simply by throwing a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals.
Catnip also works, as it contains nepetalactone, which mosquitoes hate. Check out ehow's article on the topic for more info. Lemongrass and basil are also effective, as is a diet that includes garlic. Just like the vampires of fiction, mosquitoes are repulsed by a garlic-heavy diet.
Wasps are even easier to keep away; exceedingly territorial, they will be dissuaded by a fake nest that mimics the color and shape of a natural one.
4) The Great Debate
This is an endless summertime debate, with many people taking each respective side. What is cheaper in the long run, keeping your house cool all day long, or letting it heat up when you aren't there, only to cool it when you return?
According to Green Home Guide, if you're going to be gone for over an hour, it's the latter option that will benefit you most. If you have central air, your room will cool down in about 15 minutes, and the amount of energy you use will be less than if you left it running while you were gone.
5) Organic Is The Way To Go
Let's be honest: most of us that hang at Green Conscience are already pretty well on board with this idea. There are a few other angles to consider though. Organic, breathable fabrics are far more comfortable in the summer, as they draw moisture away from your body. As well as seeking out clothing made from organic fabrics, don't forget that using them in your bedding will make you far more comfortable in the warmer months as well.
Diet can also be an immense help. Eating fresh fruits, salads, and vegetables is an awesome way to beat the heat, and here in Saratoga, we have no lack of sources for organic, farm-to-table produce. Our Farmer's Market, located on High Rock Ave, is one of the most vibrant in the area, and an absolute must for locals and visitors anytime during the year.
This list highlights only a few of the most effective Eco-friendly ways to stay cool in the summer. If you have any other tips that help you beat the heat, please share in the comments section or on our Facebook page. As always, thanks for reading!