Anyone living in a two-story house knows this fact: heat rises. That means that on hot summer days, hanging out upstairs can feel like living in a sauna – without the nice fluffy towels and soothing scents.
But experts know that this doesn’t have to be the case. A few simple tricks can cool things down in no time. To take the heat off…
Open windows at night to let cool air in: In Colorado, the nighttime air often brings cool relief. Use an attic or free-standing fan to help draw in this air as you sleep.
Close windows, shades and drapes in the morning: Before the day starts heating up, capture that cool air from the night before inside the house by buttoning things up tightly. Close windows. Also shut drapes and shades to prevent the sun from beating into the house.
Use the fan setting on your thermostat: This can help spread air throughout the house, evening out the temperature between the first and second stories.
Close some vents of the ground floor: This will redirect cool air to the second level.
Install ceiling fans: These can be relatively simple to install, particularly in rooms that have a ceiling light and enough room in the ceiling above to brace the weight of the fan. Make sure the fan is right for the room size and ceiling height.
Consider installing a solar attic fan: This helps ventilate the attic, so that trapped heat can escape into the outdoors. Solar fans cost almost nothing to operate beyond the initial installation and carry no “threat from dangerous gasses, such as carbon monoxide, as opposed to electrically powered ones,” notes House Digest.
Hire a professional to check your ducts: Often, ducts are undersized for the house. You might want to renovate your system to offer greater cooling throughout the home. You might also consider installing a ductless system upstairs, which would allow you to avoid tearing apart drywall that the former often requires.
Hire an Xcel Energy-approved contractor to do a Home Energy Audit: This will help you understand where cool air is leaking out of your home, so that these places can be better sealed. It might also help you qualify for rebates from Xcel.