Last Blast of Summer 2016: 9 Ways to Beat the Heat

iStock_000025926943_SmallA cooler home is possible using these simple tips

(Portland, Ore.) Many Portland families are gearing up for the sound of the school bell later this month. But don’t put that sunscreen away just yet.

Temperatures are expected to shoot back up to triple digits through the weekend, starting today.

Portlanders without air conditioning will be looking for ways to stay cool inside their homes this weekend. The good news: there are a few short-term tips for staying cool as well as some long-term fixes that can keep your home comfortable, even in 100 degrees.

What to do right now

Here are few tips for this weekend’s heat that will keep your house cooler:

  1. Close your windows and shades. Closing your windows and shades in the morning keeps the cool night air inside and reduces the amount of solar heat coming into your house.
  2. Open your windows at night. Refresh the air inside your home once it’s dark and starts to cool down.
  3. Unplug appliances not in use. Unused electronics radiate heat, so turn them off when they are not in use.
  4. Keep the lights off. Light bulbs emit heat, and can make a muggy room feel muggier, so leave the lights off. Pro-tip: LED light bulbs emit less heat than incandescent and CFL bulbs.
  5. Cook outside on the grill. Take advantage of your barbecue and keep your stove and oven off. Or avoid cooking altogether by preparing no-cook meals like salads.

What to do in the future

Once this weekend’s heat has ended, here are a few simple upgrades that will keep your home cooler for seasons to come:

  1. Get a heat pump. Don’t let the name fool you—heat pumps can operate as air-conditioners, providing you with one system that both cools and heat your home. A heat pump is more efficient than a furnace or boiler, saving you in energy costs.
  2. Increase the insulation and air sealing in your home. Most people think insulation is to keep a house warm, but it also helps keep cool air in and warm air out.
  3. Install energy efficient windows. Heat also enters your home through windows. Installing energy efficient windows can help reduce heat, especially in older homes.
  4. Plant trees strategically. Depending upon the orientation of your home, you can plant trees to shade windows, cool patios, and protect against the strong late afternoon sun. Trees also keep your home warm in the winter, reducing your energy bills.

Don’t forget to give your home a check up. Enhabit’s in-home assessments reveal simple upgrades that can make your home efficient, comfortable and healthy. Visit Enhabit.org to schedule your check up.