How to Keep Your House Cool During a Heat Wave

By: Julie Day
House with trees planted in front yard.

Plant shade trees in your yard to keep your house cooler in years to come.

Keeping Cool Tip #10: Plan Ahead

Long term strategies to keep your house cooler include:

  • Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of the house.
  • Install insulated glass windows with low-E coating or storm windows.
  • Add awnings over sunny windows.
  • Install additional attic insulation
  • Replace existing roof with cool shingles or light-colored roofing

These are only a few of the many strategies for keeping your house cool in the summer. Put some of these home improvements to your to-do list for relief in years to come.

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14 Comments on “How to Keep Your House Cool During a Heat Wave”

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  • James Says:
    September 15th, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Hi Julie,

    All the ideas you’ve shared are very helpful to keep the house cool.

    I would like to add one more, we can use solar reflective paint additive for the same.

    Just add a solar reflective paint additive in to the paint and apply it on exterior walls to reflect the solar waves.



  • MARIE LOUISE FINCH Says:
    July 2nd, 2016 at 8:23 am

    HOLA MR DANNY, WE BOUGHT A HOME LAST YEAR, AND HAVE BEING DOING REPAIRS, REMODELING ETC,ETC.

    I WANT TO ENHANCE OUR FRONT PORCH. WE HAVE PLASTIC SHUTTERS, THEY ARE FADED FROM THE SUN. MY ? IS CAN WE PAINT THEM OR NEED TO REPLACE THEM? WE ARE TRYING TO SPEND AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, SO WE CAN DO MORE THINGS TO THE HOUSE.

    SECOND ? WE HAVE THE “FAMOUS” FRONT PILLARS ON THE FRONT PORCH. THEY ARE PEELING, WE WANT TO PAINT THEM SO EVERYTHING WILL LOOK NICE. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO START WORKING ON THEM. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. BY THE WAY I JUST LOVE YOUR SHOWS, THEY ARE VERY INSTRUCTIVE AND INTERESTING 🙂



  • Janine Says:
    March 30th, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Fans really help alot during the morning. We don’t turn the A/C on during the morning cuz it really works twice as hard to keep the house or room cool. Having fans and opening windows really help the circulation of air in the whole household.



  • Genes Heating and Air Says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 11:35 am

    A lot of heat energy is delivered to your house in the form of rays from the sun. If you have blinds that will block the light from entering the house and reflecting a bunch of it back outside, less heat energy is dumped inside. And things stay cooler.

    Obviously the color of your blinds will also play a role, dark colored blinds will absorb a portion of the energy and act as radiators in your house. White blinds will reflect most of the energy back out again.



  • maurice dion Says:
    August 24th, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    rooms that are not being used should they be closed?



  • Judy Schindler Says:
    August 1st, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Can you tell me more about using window film on dual pane windows? We are suffering a terrible drought and heat here in Forks, Washington. Because it is normally cool here, we don’t have air conditioning. Thank you!


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 23rd, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Tami,
    Thanks, that’s an easy way to remember it!



  • Tami Jones Says:
    August 22nd, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I recall the 3 C’s for summertime fan direction….Counter Clockwise Cooler!



  • Sharon Says:
    July 28th, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Having foil radiant barriers in the attic is very useful in reducing the trapped heat inside the walls of the home. This ensures that the temperatures remain down and home remains cooler, naturally. Low on electricity consumption also. High on savings too.



  • R.E. Says:
    July 14th, 2013 at 10:35 am

    A ceiling fan, just as any other type, should move the air toward you in the summer.



  • Telester Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    HOW MUCH INSULATION SHOULD I HAVE IN MY ATTIC?


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    July 2nd, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Jerry,
    I updated the article above to indicate that ceiling fans should run counterclockwise in summer (when looking up at them). They should run clockwise in winter. You can find out more in our article on How to Use a Paddle Ceiling Fan Properly at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/using-ceiling-fans-properly/



  • Jerry Says:
    July 2nd, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Ceiling fans which way do they turn in summer?



  • Jerry Says:
    July 2nd, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Calling fans wihich way turns in winter


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