Above: Keeping your home cool without an air conditioner, especially during the day time. Check out the video at the end of the story for ideas on staying cool at night.
SEATTLE -- An air conditioning unit just might be the easiest way to cool down your home (many local retailers, including The Home Depot, recently received new shipments in recent days), but for many of us, it's simply too expensive or impractical.
Fear not! We have some solutions for both day and night.
Madison Stenek with The Home Depot brought in some great examples of inexpensive things we can all do to keep our home cool. "One of the easiest things you can do year-round is to properly insulate your home," she said. Aside from standard insulation, this includes weather sealants you can use on your windows and doors. There's even a window sealant kit she shows us that uses a window film that can reportedly save you $500 a year in energy costs. Stenek estimates about 50% of heat and cooling air gets out through gaps you have in your windows and doors.
Something you may not have heard of using before: window films, both decorative and heat-resistant. The films are easy to apply with an application kit, and can help keep the heat out. BONUS: They're easy to put up and to remove.
For night time, fans are especially important, and Stenek pointed out the focus should be on the direction the fans face. A 'twin window fan' can adjust to fit right inside your window; a stand-alone fan can circulate cooler air inside. Combining these two types of fans just might be the key to a good night's sleep: "What most people don't know is if you actually turn [the twin window fan] the opposite way, and you have a circulating fan as well in your room, it's going to suck a lot of the heat out."
Do you have a ceiling fan? Little known fact: make sure it's set to spin counter-clockwise, as that will allow the heat to come up and out instead of swirling the hot air around.
And when all-else fails, Stenek says to drink a glass of cold water before going to bed!
Watch the videos for more ideas on keeping your home cool this summer, and remember: if you do decide to invest in an air conditioning unit, there are a lot of options. We are running through some of them live on the show this Friday at 7:20am.
Below: How to keep your home cool without an air conditioner at night.