How To Keep Your House Cool

10 Free Ways to Help Your Family Stay Cool During Hot Days, Even with Poor Insulation!

This summer June 2024, we are getting very hot weather much earlier in the summer than normal. Many call asking for help with their and to “fix” their insulation issues that have existing for a year, or two, or decades….

Tom: You are the best!  Thank you so much for coming over and for all of your great suggestions.  We opened doors, turned on dehumidifier, ran fans, and noticed a big difference already.  We will look for new grills and replace the lights in our bedroom/bathroom to help increase flow.

Building or remodeling or changing the way you live in your home. Finishing basements, adding conditioned space over the garage, turning a garage into an office, study, homework space… building an in-law sweet./ new HVAC equipment

This is for homeowners who are uncomfortable but not yet ready to invest in changing the “thermal envelope” of their home…

  1. Turn the fan on the HVAC to the “On position”, this is the first and simplest step that all homes should do during the hot and cold times of year to reduce the number of hot/ cold spots. The default for most thermostats is to turn the fan off when not cooling… That limits the amount of circulation and dramatically increasing the circulation from the top to the bottom and front to the back of your home. Keep the bedroom and other interior doors open as much as possible during the day to allow the HVAC supplies and returns to properly deliver air and return air to the system.
  2. Make sure that all supplies and returns are free of obstruction, not under clothing, furniture, or carpets. The HVAC system can only deliver the same amount of air that is “returned” and if you are denying 20-50% of the return air, you are getting less than optimal air out of your supplies.
  3. Get new grills for the supplies and returns, if you have the fancy wooden grill overs to match your hardwood flooring. Many homeowners have fallen in love the the gorgeous wood grills that match the flooring, are flat to the floor, and do not stick up, what people do not realize is that these fancy covers deny 10-50% of the airflow and restrict the ability of your system to move air, cool/ warm your home. I strongly suggest having a separate set of metal, grill covers that are much more efficient for the flow of air. You are only going to notice this issue during the extreme temperatures but they exist all the time, you just don’t notice it.
  4. If you have a dehumidifier, get it up and running. Air conditioning is the process of cooling air during the summer AND removing the humidity from the air. If the air is above the desired temperature in your home but is only 25% humidity instead of 60-80%, you will be more comfortable in your home. Having that additional de-humidification to your home will benefit your family and your comfort.
  5. Do not install an attic fan thinking this will “solve” your home comfort issues. NOT WITH AN ATTIC FAN!
  6. Use your ceiling fans, and install them if you do not have them. Moving air across your skin will help you feel more comfortable in warmer temps inside of your home. Moving dehumidified air will be especially enjoyable for you after days of suffering from hot and humid temperatures in your home.
  7. Gently clean the debris from the fins on the outside of your Air Conditioner. These fins are the heat exchange, pulling warmth out of the air and replacing it with cooler air. Blockage/ coverage of these fins stops or reduces the efficiency of the system to work and cool the air/ de humidify the air in your home.
  8. Block Out Sunlight – Block as much of the direct sunlight entering the home can help keep indoor temperatures down. Strategically close and leave closed the blinds on the sunny side of the house during these hot days to allow the home to be as cool as possible.
  9. Optimize Your Living Space – Rearranging your living space and making small adjustments can enhance comfort without any cost. Use the extreme temperature to help you re-think how your home is organized Basement family rooms for gathering during the hottest days is a great way to get more comfortable in a space surrounded by earth, that will typically be several degrees cooler than the upstairs. If you are an “empty nester”, making a comfortable nap space in the basement or even a place to “vacation” during those most uncomfortable evenings… I do not know anyone who can sleep well when hot. (I grew up in Oklahoma and lived in many homes without central air… with a box fan pointed at me and the only cooling during the summer from a whole house fan, a cracked open window and the cooling 85-90 degree air from outside)
  10. Sleep in the Cooler Parts of the House: If your home has multiple levels, sleep on the lower floor where it’s generally cooler. Basements can be particularly cool and comfortable during hot days.

By implementing these strategies, homeowners in Chicago can significantly increase their comfort on a super hot day (And similarly on super cold days/ nights) without spending any money. These methods leverage natural ventilation, shade, and simple DIY techniques to create a cooler indoor environment. When you or your friends or family are doing construction, replacing HVAC equipment… give them our info, we can make your home more comfortable, more energy efficient and more resilient from extremes. Closed cell foam specifically is the only Federal Emergency Management Administration approved insulation for flood disasters, Florida Fire Departments did studies showing that homes that are all spray foam are less likely to be lost from fires, in areas with hurricanes or tornadoes, a spray foam attic/ unvented attic is less likely to be removed from your home in high winds both because it is effectively glued to the house under the roof and because the closed vents do not allow for pressure differences that cause the roof to “explode” in these situations and in the event of fires around the home, an unvented attic stops material from the fire from blowing into the attic via vents and starting a fire in your home. Spray foam has many benefits… Give us a call if you have questions. Give us a referral if you know someone who is ready to invest in the long-term comfort of your family!

Comfort is only a FOAM CALL AWAY! 847-987-3626

About the Author, Tom Decker

With ten years of experience selling spray foam insulation in Chicago, Tom Decker is THE person to call and the Chicago Green Insulation is the organization to hire when you are looking for top notch quality and performance as well as someone who can deal with the needs of code officials, home owners and general contractors. Call the others in Chicago, if you are interested in the cheapest price, call Chicago Green Insulation if you are interested in using your dollars to make Chicago a better city for all of us!

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