June 03, 2019 4 min read
Finding it impossible to survive without AC his summer? You're not alone. Many of us are racking up electricity bills just to stay cool during these hot days. Fortunately, there are less-costly ways to lower the temperature in your home. And no, these don't require you to put ice cubes on electric fans or anything like that! At Gear Den, of course, only the most stylish yet affordable home solutions will do. Try these house-cooling tips.
While you may be tempted to open all windows to improve ventilation, it's actually better to close some drapes during certain times of the day. What you want is to block out sunlight, which is a major source of heat at home. Deploy your curtains or blinds before sunshine hits the room (usually late morning), then pull them back in the evening to let in the cool night breeze.
If you want more sun-blocking power, try blackout curtains, window tint films, or reflective window panels.
Did you know that incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the form of heat? That translates to additional degrees to your room temp. Keep your electric light use to a minimum, especially during daytime. Maximize your natural light! For spaces that really need illumination, swap your traditional bulbs for LEDs or CFLs, which are both more energy-efficient.
White is the only color that does not absorb heat from sunlight (isn't science great?). Maximize this by using easy, breezy, white cloths for your drapes, upholstery, and sheets. The best fabrics to use in the summer include cotton, linen, rayon, and silk. Rule of thumb: natural fabrics are much more breathable than synthetic ones.
Some rooms in the house are naturally cooler than the outside. Keep the doors closed in these rooms to help retain the lower temperature during the day. At night, when the outside temp is lower, open as many doors in your house to help the cooler air circulate.
An outdoor window awning can work wonders on your house temperature! It blocks sunlight while still allowing you to open up your windows for air. Plus, it adds curb appeal! You can buy and install a ready-made awning, or you can do a little DIY handiwork. See this tutorial from home DIY-er Melissa Lissack.
A little-known trick for chill air: when you set your ceiling fan to rotate counter-clockwise, it pushes warm air upwards so a cool breeze comes down on floor level. You can turn it back around when colder seasons come.
Most of our electronics emit heat, so make it a point to turn off appliances and unplug gadgets when not in use. Better yet, try to reduce your electric consumption by taking up 'analog' activities. Some top suggestions: reading, catching up with a friend in person, lounging with a loved one, going on backyard picnics, taking a stroll... oh, the lovely possibilities!
Speaking of emitting heat, few things heat up a room more than an open stove or oven. With this heat, outdoor barbecues and grilling are now more than recreation -- they're almost a necessity.
If you're over barbecues but still feeling the heat, consider setting up an outdoor kitchen! Typically, this would require a considerable budget, but there's always a DIY option for a fraction of the cost. This example from Better Homes & Gardens even transforms a salvage yard cabinet into a budget-friendly kitchen setup!
If you have a box fan on your window, try facing it outwards instead of in. This may seem counterintuitive, but it's a way to push hot air out, like an exhaust. It helps lower the temperature of the room instead of just blowing an artificial breeze that's still warm anyway.
Much of the discomfort we get during hot summer days is due to high humidity, especially if you live in a damp area. 'Tis the season of the dehumidifier! For a natural alternative, try using rock salt, charcoal briquettes, or baking soda as air desiccants (absorbers of moisture). Just fill a small bucket with these materials, store at strategic corners in your home, and notice the difference.
It's no secret that indoor plants help improve the air in a room. Their effect is two-fold: they absorb heat and release coolness in return, and they also emit oxygen for a more breathable environment. See our tips for decorating with indoor plants here!
Wall art pictured above: "Home" Premium Canvas
This one's a long-term solution that your kids will thank you for. Find a spot in your yard where sunlight beats down on your home. That's a good location for planting a shade tree. Popular shade-giving plants include birch trees, smoketrees (a.k.a. smoke bush), maple trees, and oak trees.
Feeling a little cooler yet? We hope these tips are helpful for a nice summer home!
If you like the wall art and home decor featured here, check out more items at the customer-starred Gear Den shop!
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July 04, 2021 5 min read
The town gets painted red, white, and blue every July 4th, but how about decorating with an Americana theme all year long? It's all about homey comfort with a dash of USA style. Here are fantastic ways to get this look for your home.
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For many of us, fathers have been quiet rock of our households, keeping us secure, comfortable, and loved. So for Father's Day 2021, let's take a few minutes to enumerate some of the wonderful things we love about Dad.
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