- Put up Sun Blockers - When the air outside is dry and cooler than the air inside, hang a damp sheet in an open window. Incoming breezes are cooled by the evaporating air.
- Block the Sun - Closing curtains and blinds can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Make a makeshift air conditioner - If it's hot but not humid, place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan and enjoy the breeze. As the ice melts, then evaporates, it will cool you off.
- Give your AC some TLC - Clean or replace the filter in room and central air contiioners about once a month during the summer. If you have central AC, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system's efficiency by as much as 15%.
- Close the damper - While running any kind of air conditioner, shut your fireplace damper. An open one will pull hot air into your house.
- Close everything else, too - Whether the AC is on or off, keep windows and doors shut if the temperature outside is more than 77°. Whenever the outside air temperature is hotter than the inside air, opening a window invites heat to creep in.
Do you have tips for beating the heat? Leave them in the Comments section.