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10 Home Cooling Hacks | How to Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

by Daniel Estevao on August 12, 2016

home cooling tips and tricks

If you are looking for ways to save money and stay cool in the Tacoma/Puget Sound area, you’ve come to the right place. While people in hotter areas of the country might balk at our balk at our claims of high temperatures, it does get pretty hot in Washington. And air conditioning costs can get very expensive.

The 7-day forecast for Tacoma shows temperatures consistently in the 80s, with highs in the low-90s. It might be a good idea to start planning some cool indoor and outdoor activities this week. Click here for a list of fun ways to stay cool around Seattle.

Or, you could stay home.

10 Home Cooling Hacks

There are many ways to keep cool at home without blasting the A/C. Employ just a few of these home cooling hacks and you’ll instantly start feeling cooler for less.

  1. Shade your windows with blinds and drapes. Consider solar screens, reflective films, awnings, and other energy-efficient window treatments to block the sun’s heat-producing rays from entering the home.
  2. Another way to block solar radiation is by planting deciduous trees, vines, and other plants to create shade. Plant trees to create shade for east and west windows, patios, driveways, and air conditioning units. Doing this can easily save you around 30% on your air conditioning costs and increase the value of your home.
  3. If it gets cool at night, crack the windows a little to help cool down the home and circulate some fresh air.
  4. Use ceiling fans, whole-house fans, and floor fans to improve air circulation in addition to house cooling. Also, do NOT close off vents and registers in the home. While you may think that you can save money and get the cold air where you want it, closing off vents and registers will actually increase your cooling costs and potentially cause harm to your HVAC system. Read more about it here.
  5. One way to create your own cooling system is by placing a bowl of ice and salt in front of a fan. The ice helps lower the freezing point of the ice, and the fan ill blow the freezing air at you. You can put the frozen salt water in water bottles, which can be refrozen once they melt.
  6. Avoid introducing heat into the home. Turn off your heat-producing appliances when not in use. This includes all lights, stoves, computers, TVs, and other electrical devices. Make sure your fridge and freezer gaskets are sealing properly. Reduce the amount of heat and steam produced from cooking and showers. Opt for cold showers and meals instead.
  7. If you haven’t already, switch the incandescent lights in your home with LEDs. Incandescent lights produce a lot more heat and only last a fraction as long as LEDs.
  8. If you have a traditional water heater, opposed to a tankless water heater, lower the standard temperature from 140°F to a more safe and energy-efficient 120°F.
  9. If you can, use a light color for your house and roof. Light colors reflect the heat while darker colors absorb it.
  10. Increase the insulation in your home. Drafts bring cold air in during the winter and hot air in during the summer. Improving the insulation in your home will help you save money and be more comfortable all year round. You just want to be careful that you aren’t over-insulating your home. There are many places in your home that could use an increase in insulation, such as doors, windows, foundations, basements, garages, and attics. Click here for
insulation from roof to foundation

Examples of where to insulate. 1. In unfinished attic spaces, insulate between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below. If the air distribution is in the attic space, then consider insulating the rafters to move the distribution into the conditioned space. (1A) attic access door 2. In finished attic rooms with or without dormer, insulate (2A) between the studs of “knee” walls, (2B) between the studs and rafters of exterior walls and roof, (2C) and ceilings with cold spaces above. (2D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 3. All exterior walls, including (3A) walls between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs, or storage areas; (3B) foundation walls above ground level; (3C) foundation walls in heated basements, full wall either interior or exterior. 4. Floors above cold spaces, such as vented crawl spaces and unheated garages. Also insulate (4A) any portion of the floor in a room that is cantilevered beyond the exterior wall below; (4B) slab floors built directly on the ground; (4C) as an alternative to floor insulation, foundation walls of unvented crawl spaces. (4D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 5. Band joists. 6. Replacement or storm windows and caulk and seal around all windows and doors. Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (via energy.gov)

Finally, take care of your air conditioning system! In order to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty and keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, you need to have a qualified professional inspect and maintain your HVAC system every year — once in the fall for your heating system and once in the spring for your cooling system.

Sign up for our Residential Energy Savings Club to make sure your HVAC system is running at peak performance all year long.

Don’t forget about the things you can do to help with air conditioning maintenance.

More tips on how to stay cool and get through these final dog days of summer:


Call Pacific Air Systems for an experience technician to come service or replace your equipment today!

Since 1984, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma, and Gig Harbor.

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