It’s summer in Hawaii and boy, is it hot.
In our office, the morning goes something like this:
- Make coffee – because, naturally, coffee has to come first.
- Say hi to your coworkers once you get your caffeine fix.
- Turn on the AC – as much as we love the weather here, during the summer months, you just need it.
If you live in Hawaii, or anywhere that experiences hot summer months, you know the feeling.
But here’s the rub, you like natural airflow, right? And you don’t want to run the AC continuously. There have to be other ways to make it cool, or even just bearable.
Air conditioning takes a bunch of energy and costs money we don’t want to spend. And those things are essential, but so is your comfort.
Below are a few things you can do to beat the heat in Hawaii or wherever you call home.
Natural Ventilation – Design
Something to always keep in mind if you’re looking to design or build a home is your natural ventilation.
The plantation-style homes unique to Hawaii and were built before A/C became standard, to naturally ventilate and cool themselves, promoting airflow and using the trade winds to keep the air moving and house cool.
A tradition that a talented architect in Hawaii will take a lot into account still today when designing your home.
Outdoor influence such as the sun, the direction of the trade winds, and your window placement are significant factors to consider when designing your home.
Use that design to your advantage; get your windows open on those hot days, and let the breeze cool your home naturally.
Of course, this can’t always be the case. Sometimes you’re going to have to work to…
Keep the Hot Weather Out
Sometimes the weather won’t work to your advantage, and it’s best to keep the hot air out. Up to 30 percent of your unwanted heat comes from your windows, so using some methods below can work wonders to keep your house cooler while saving energy.
- Keep your windows shut
- Pull shades down where the sun can peek in
- Consider cooling curtains
- Window treatments
- Think about installing awnings
Become a Fan of…Fans
A great ceiling fan can make all the difference in cooling a room (no matter the size) and your entire house if done right.
Look to install ceiling fans in each room, and multiple in the larger rooms.
Don’t always be afraid to spend a little money on good ceiling fans, a company like Bigass Fans may be expensive, but they circulate the air around your home incredibly, keeping it cool with a nice breeze running through every room.
Stay Out of the Kitchen
Take advantage of the always-beautiful weather and use your grill or smoker to make meals.
This keeps the additional heat out of your home, gets you outside, and gives you the excuse to eat some fabulous grilled Yellowfin or smoked meat.
Make Your Roofs Light
We all know the basics, lighter colors reflect, and darker colors absorb. But did you know it can have a massive impact on the heat in your home, too?
Do you ever wonder why all the houses in Arizona are of the same light color?
Dark-colored home exteriors absorb up to 90% of the energy from the sun, a lot of which will transfer into your home.
And if you’re ever in the market for a new roof, keep this in mind. Go lighter to better curb energy consumption and keep your home naturally cooler.
Seek the Shade with some Greens
We all look for shade on those hot days; it cools you down and keeps you out of that hot sun.
You should do the same for your house.
Think ahead and plant trees and shrubs (in well thought out locations) that will give your home some shade during those hot months.
You could also consider installing awnings over windows where the sun shines all day long.
Stay Cool, My Friends
You can look forward to sitting in your humid, arid, and pungent house, trying to get comfortable enough to relax while the sweat pours from your forehead.
Or running your electricity bill through the roof using your air conditioning.
Or you can plan ahead and keep your house naturally cool when the heat hits and keep your energy costs down while still enjoying the natural cool all year round.