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4 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Warm afternoon sunlight pours into an elegant homes living room with a stone fireplace and large windows looking out into the yard.

Energy costs usually rise in summer because of dependence on air conditioning and electric fans. Many homeowners retreat inside to avoid the heat, but then feel confined in their homes and restricted to indoor activities. This can lead to fatigue, sluggishness, and an overall disillusionment with what’s supposed to be a great season. Today, we’ll discuss some easy, cost-effective ways to keep your home cool this summer.

Perform Basic Maintenance

One of the best ways to save money is maintaining the cooling sources you already have. Business experts say about 55% of summer energy bills go to cooling, so it’s vital that your air conditioner undergoes a maintenance check about once a year. This includes cleaning the filters and ensuring grilles aren’t straining to circulate air. You should also change your air filters frequently, and make sure you’re buying filters that last three months or more for optimum money-saving.

Block the Sun

This might seem counter-intuitive, especially since sunlight is physically and emotionally healthy. If you have large rooms with big windows that let in too much sun, however, your house will heat up quickly, increasing your reliance on air conditioning. Consider investing in ultraviolet window treatments for your home and your vehicle; these will keep you and your family comfortable and safe, especially on car trips. Use blinds or shades to block the sun during the hottest part of the day, around 12:00-3:00 PM.

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 Use Cool Décor

The décor you choose can do more than you think to evoke coolness. For example, choose pillows and linens made from lightweight fabrics including cotton blends, rayon, and nylon. (Despite its reputation for coolness, avoid silk, especially in pillows, the weight of the human head can heat silk quickly). Use plenty of neutrals and calming colors such as turquoise, indigo, mint, and sea green. Spend as much outdoor time as possible in a shaded area, such as a deck with a comfortable chaise lounge or chairs.

 

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Turn Off Your Appliances

Almost everyone knows this trick, but few people actually do it. Financial experts agree that using a microwave instead of an oven will both save money and keep you much cooler during mealtimes. Go ahead and grill as much as you like – the exposure to fresh air will cool you down and make your food taste better. Consider drying your clothes on a clothesline as much as the weather permits, and avoid running your dishwasher unless you have a full load.

Laundry drying high up in the Austrian Alps

Summer Pillows Ideas

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Pillows are a great décor item any time of year, but most people associate them only with fall and winter. The word “pillow” tends to connote a warm, somewhat bulky item that only serves indoor purposes. In reality, you can use pillows for a myriad of summer decorating projects, some of which we’ve highlighted here.

Use Durable Summer Pillows

Summer is the perfect time to move your decorating skills outdoors. Adding summer pillows to your deck or veranda can give it a splash of color and make guests more comfortable during a cookout or poolside party. While shopping for outdoor pillows though, make sure you look for a few key features:

  • Weather protection. Look for acrylics and other fabrics that won’t hold moisture or become mildewed
  • Durability. Avoid pillows made with silk, rayon, or nylon, as they will tear easily and are more difficult to clean
  • UV resistance. Using a pillow that soaks up too much sunlight can make you hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. In addition to this, colors exposed to sunlight from the wrong sorts of fabric will soon fade.  Look for temperature-resistant fabrics in light, heat-reflecting colors.

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Bring the Beach Home with Summer Pillows

During spring and summer, everyone is anxious to get outdoors again. If you aren’t near a beach or mountain resort, use outdoor pillows to bring those luxurious locales a bit closer. Look for pillows with specific designs, such as beach scenes, pineapples, sunsets, or bright florals. If you want more subtle décor, seek out pillows with multicolored waves or stripes, or a tie-dye style.

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Go Big and Bold

During summer, most people wear brighter, bolder colors. Your home and outdoor spaces can, too. Popular summer shades include –

  • Turquoise, aqua, and indigo blues
  • Deep, saturated pinks
  • Neon greens and yellows
  • Purple in almost any shade from lavender to violet; this is often used as an accent color in larger designs
  • Oranges in bold or soft shades; these can be tinged with soft pink for a sunrise effect

Many summer designs also use larger, bolder prints than their fall and winter counterparts. Look for starburst designs, large geometric patterns, or patterns that evoke tribal or Native American cultures. Some summer pillows are made with fringe or tassels for an extra bold touch.

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 Nod to Mother Nature

Your pillows and other outdoor décor should be backdrops to the natural beauty around you. To facilitate this, look for pillows whose designs celebrate nature. Some pillows use floral designs, while others have a single bird or animal as a focal point. Still other pillows use more abstract designs, relying on colors like green, cream, and earth brown.

IMG_6802 Nautical

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