Carolina summers have always been hot and humid, but this one was a doozy. Learn how to beat the summer heat in Raleigh while enjoying your home & the outdoors (and maybe even reducing your A/C bill!).
It’s not just a hot summer here. The entire Northern Hemisphere got hid hard this summer 2022.
Here in the Raleigh-Triangle area, we’re seeing the third hottest summer ever recorded in Raleigh and Durham.
Ready to avoid becoming a fried egg on the sidewalk?
Ready to not feel as hot as your asphalt roof?
12 Tips to beat the summer heat inside your home
1. Keep the curtains closed
This may sound silly, but leaving your curtains open, especially if your house gets a lot of sun, will let in plenty of extra heat. If you’re not in a room or you’re leaving your house, close the curtains. It’s that simple!
There’s no need to make your A/C work harder than it has to.
2. Get insulating curtains or blinds
As mentioned above, closing your curtains can always help cool your home. But if you want to take it a step further, consider investing in insulating curtains or blinds.
For shades, check out solar or honeycomb shades.
For curtains, try out thermal room darkening curtains (bonus: these curtains can be noise-reducing, too).
3. Cook fresh meals & avoid using the stove + oven
If you enjoy cooking, or if you heat up frozen meals in the oven, try switching your cooking routine during the hottest summer weeks.
Your oven and stove top produce a lot of heat. While some of it cooks your food, there is also a large amount of residual heat that will heat up your home.
We know it’s difficult to avoid the oven and stove completely, so try to find small substitutes for your meal prep that will save energy.
Not only will it save energy, but it also keeps you cooler. Yes, your A/C will work hard to compensate for your oven and stove, but it can only do so much. Chances are, your kitchen and surrounding rooms will rise several degrees while you’re using the oven.
So how do you stop using your oven, practically?
- Eat raw meals whenever you can. Some examples include salads, vegetables and dips, sandwiches, wraps, raw tacos, or smoothies.
- Buy precooked foods. This isn’t always the healthiest option, but there are plenty of food items you can buy precooked, whether it be rice, beans, soup, curry, lentils, or frozen veggies.
4. Utilize countertop kitchen appliances for cooking
Need a baked potato? Use the microwave or toaster oven. Want to make a roast? Use your slow cooker. Really craving some mac’n’cheese? Try your Instapot or Slowcooker. It’s amazing how many meals you can make with countertop appliances, and they use a fraction of the heat your oven would use.
5. Program your thermostat
There’s no need to make your thermostat work hard when no one’s home. Consider installing a smart thermostat so you can program your A/C to have a higher max temperature when you’re away. Typically, you can even sync the A/C to your phone in case you need to change the settings when you’re away.
At our house, we keep the A/C hotter during the day and bring it to a cooler temperature at night. This helps the A/C not work as hard against the outside temperatures. Plus, we prefer enduring a bit of heat during the daytime versus at night when we’re trying to sleep.
6. Use light, percale sheets
While silky sheets feel great, they also trap more heat. Consider buying a set of light, percale sheets for the summer time. You can also opt for two different bedspreads – one for summer and one for winter.
7. Fans, fans, fans
Sometimes we don’t need cooler air as much as we need airflow. Utilize your ceiling fans and plugin fans to circulate the air and help your body regulate its temperature.
For ceiling fans, make sure you have the fan set to run counterclockwise in the summertime.
Just remember – only run the fans in rooms you are actively using. There’s no sense saving on A/C just to spend it on fan electricity.
8. Plant summer trees/foliage for shade
Invest in your landscaping and plant trees and bushes around your home! While these will take some time to grow, they are a great way to reduce the amount of sunlight and heat that hits your house.
9. Air out your home on cooler days
No one likes a stuffy house, but even so, no one likes to leave the windows open on a 90 degree day, either. So on those special nights where the temperature dips below your A/C temperature, open those windows and turn on those fans to air out your house.
10. Check your attic insulation & roof ventilation
This is a big one. Many homeowners call us wanting to improve their attic ventilation so they’re house will stay cooler.
While your unfinished attic space will always be hot in the summer (we’d be worried if it wasn’t!), you can keep it from growing excessively hot with good attic ventilation.
No, attic ventilation is not meant to cool your attic space, but it is meant to allow for adequate airflow in your attic.
Since your attic will generally be hot, another critical component to a cool home is proper attic insulation. If you don’t remember the last time you had insulation work done, consider hiring an expert to inspect the attic.
11. Get a dehumidifier
North Carolina is humid. It’s no Louisiana, but the humidity still reaches 90%+ on many summer days.
To keep the humidity outside where it belongs, you can purchase a dehumidifier to run during the summer months.
This is an especially good idea if you have a basement area, since basements can become prone to mold growth. If you think you’ll be running it constantly, you may even want to invest in an industrial dehumidifier with a small hose that automatically drains the water.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself making several trips a day to your dehumidifier to empty it.
12. Invest in a cool roof!
Lastly, consider investing in a cool roof! CertainTeed Landmark’s Silver Birch is Energy Star rated and designed to reflect the sun’s rays. According to Energy Star, roof products with the Energy Star certification can lower a roof’s surface temperature by up to 50F and reduce the amount of A/C needed in buildings.
If you already have a newer roof, you could instead invest in solar panels for your roof. Solar panels absorb the sun’s rays that would otherwise hit your roof, converting them into energy. Not only does this keep your roof cooler, but it also creates an affordable renewable energy source for your home!
Looking for a cool roof solution? Schedule a free roof consultation with one of our roofing experts!