Learning to Live in Your Microclimate
A microclimate can be as small as a few square feet—or as large as a few square miles. From your neighborhood to your living room, pay attention to trends in temperature, sunshine, and airflow throughout the day.
When does it heat up and cool down?
Tightly close doors and windows as soon as it starts to heat up (could be as early as 5 or 6am). Open them up again for cool air and ventilation when the heat breaks or the breeze picks up.
Do your windows get direct sunlight?
If so, keep them closed and covered during the day. Blinds, shutters, trees, and awnings, especially to the south and west, can significantly reduce heat gain in your home. If you live in a hot, desert area, consider landscaping for more shade cover or installing solar screens.
Which rooms get hottest?
Heat rises, so you’ll feel it upstairs. Plus, rooms packed with heat-generating appliances – like ovens and dishwashers – can also become uncomfortable. Try to use these appliances minimally during the day, and wait to do dishes, laundry, or take hot showers until the sun goes down.
Where do you spend most of your time?
Ceiling or standing fans can keep you cool and comfortable in your office, bedroom, or living room – and you won’t need to air condition the whole house.
Other Tips & Quick Fixes to Stay Cool
- Switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs: They not only use ¼ of the energy and last up to 10x longer, but CFLs also emit 75% less heat.
- Still, make sure to turn off lights – and appliances – when not in use.
- Install a smart or programmable thermostat so you’re not cooling an empty house.
- Make your bed with lightweight and breathable organic cotton sheets.
- Stay hydrated!
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