06/21/2010 11:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Prepare Your Home for Summer

Summer has arrived! So to help you make the living easy -- and green -- here are tips for preparing your home for summer in ways that won't hurt the planet.

Stay Cool

Without A/C, that is. How? First, seal and caulk to prevent heat from seeping in through leaky doors and windows. (If you weatherized for winter, you're set.) Then, move the air as much as possible. You can do this with a ceiling fan (make sure it's rotating counterclockwise), by carrying a personal fan, or, if there's even a slight breeze outside, cracking the windows on the house's windward side just a tad, and on the other side of your home, opening the windows wider; this should create a stronger draft. 

If you simply must turn on the air conditioner, make sure your unit's filter is clean and get the refrigerant level checked - if it's low, you may be wasting 20% of the system's energy.

Appraise the Roof

Summer, of course, is the season of sun. And the sun, of course, is the ultimate source of power. So if there was ever a time to go ahead with installing solar panels on your house, now would be it. It's a significant upfront investment, but costs can be reduced in a variety of ways. If the price of going solar is still prohibitive, consider painting your roof white instead.

Go Natural

Preparing your home for the heat needn't be a big to-do. You can keep it simple by using what's natural. Getting overheated in bed? Try hanging a hammock between trees and sleeping outside to get the benefit of those fabled summer breezes (just don't forget the bug repellent). Coming home to a stifling abode after a long day away? Close the curtains before leaving to keep your place naturally cool. Feeling the energy-bill burn? The days are getting longer, so optimize the natural light by turning off any unnecessary electrical illumination.

Please share: How do you prepare your home for summer?

[via The Green Life]