Rethink how you cool your home

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

This summer has seen some of the hottest temperatures in recorded history. Here in Hawaii, we have been able to enjoy the return of the trade winds. However, they will not stick around forever, and heat won’t stay at bay for much longer either. Now is the time to prepare for its imminent return.

While we may not be strangers to the tried-and-true methods for cooling, like opening the windows or closing your blinds, there are some little known strategies that might help as well. As it gets hotter, rethinking how you cool down may help to save a few degrees and keep your home comfortable.

In the morning, you may want to open up the windows and doors, but doing so may not be the best idea. When you open the windows, you let the cool air from the night escape and the hot air from outside in. Assess the breezes and the coolness around certain sides of your home before you decide which ones to open and when. Install a windsock in your yard to give you some guidance. If there are windows that do not offer a cross-breeze, keep them closed.

When it comes to cooling your home, working on your landscaping can also help. After you have assessed which windows offer the best cross-breezes, trim the bushes, trees, plants and the like that might potentially block those trades from entering your home.

Roof coatings help to stop your roof from absorbing heat and are designed to reflect the sun’s rays. Keep in mind, however, that the coatings are not a universal solution. Steep roofs do not benefit from the coating as much as lower-pitched roofs. Also, areas with high humidity or precipitation may need the sun to help dry out the moisture and keep mold and mildew at bay. If roof coating is not for you, consider adding an insulated attic instead.

Larger appliances such as the oven will heat your home along with the food. Countertop appliances, like toaster ovens, microwaves, crock pots and air fryers use a fraction of the electricity and also emit less heat. If you must use your stovetop, try to keep pots and pans covered. This will help to hold the heat in and also help you to cook your food faster and more evenly.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.