3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Cool This Summer Without Blasting Your AC
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No matter how much you love cooking, the kitchen can be the most miserable place in your home when the weather outside is scorching. It makes sense that you don’t want to increase the heat inside of your home, and the natural solution is to blast your AC. However, if our current climate is weighing on your conscience and you are looking for a more energy/economically-efficient way to cool down your kitchen, here are some tips for you to try out:
Block the Amount of Sunlight Entering Your Home With Window Awnings
Much of the heat inside of your home is caused by sunrays that enter through your windows. Consequently, an easy way to cut down on the amount of heat gain that transfers into your home, and specifically your kitchen if you focus on the windows in that room, is to block the amount of sunlight that can get through.
Home window awnings are a great way to do this. According to the Department of Energy, they can reduce heat gain by 65% and 77% for south and west-facing windows, respectively. This makes window awnings a great resource when looking to cool off.
There are also automated window awnings available that are solar-powered and will open and retract on their own in response to direct sunlight, making it an even more simple process to cool off your home.
In addition to providing shade, awnings also provide other benefits, such as minimizing wear and tear on your AC and saving you money on your energy bill (up to $200 annually according to this study). Your AC will have to work harder the hotter it is, and it will also use more energy if you set it at a lower temperature. When you can find other ways to cool off, you can increase the energy-efficiency of your home, and you’ll also avoid overworking your air conditioner, therefore reducing potential damage.
Get Creative With Cooking
Obviously, turning on your oven adds more heat to your home no matter what the weather is like outside, so when it’s warm outside and you turn your oven on, your kitchen can quickly feel unbearable to even stand in. You don’t want to sacrifice comfort in order to eat, but luckily there are plenty of ways to cut down on your oven use during those intense heat waves while still enjoying some homemade delights. Here are a few ways to do just that:
- Prepare meals that don’t need to be heated up.Sandwiches, salads, smoothies, dips, fruit, etc. are some great food options to think about if you’re wanting to avoid adding any extra heat to the kitchen.
- Use your slow cooker.There are tons of slow-cooker recipes out there that can fit any and every dietary preferences. While this does use heat, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen in the same manner as an oven.
- Grill outside.Keep the heat out of your house by cooking outside on the grill. This is a favorite pastime during summer, so keep your kitchen cool while enjoying that smoky, grilled flavor.
- Bake or cook at night or early in the morning.You shouldn’t have to forgo your beloved baked goods or savory casseroles because of the season. If you’re really craving something that you can’t make in your slow cooker or on the grill, try to make it early in the morning or in the evening when it’s not so hot outside.
- Make freezer meals.There are many great ideas online for nutritious freezer meals that you can make ahead of time. If you can commit one weekend to preparing a few bulk meals, you can package them up and stick them in the freezer. This way, you’ll be able to pop a tupperware container of your favorite food in the microwave instead of having to turn on the stove or the oven. This is also a great way to avoid the temptation of buying unhealthy convenience microwave meals at the grocery store.
Create Airflow With Windows and Fans
There is nothing worse than being stuck in a sticky hot kitchen that has absolutely zero airflow. If you’re looking to give your AC a break, simply opening up the windows and doors can break up the stale, stiff, and hot feeling inside. If there isn’t a single sensation of a draft lingering outside, you can create one by adding a window fan to your kitchen window. If you’re looking to go all out, you can also think about installing a kitchen ceiling fan.
Hopefully these tips help illustrate that there are energy-efficient and budget-friendly ways to keep your kitchen cool. If you’re willing to do some simple home improvements and get a bit more creative with your cooking, there is no reason why you need to suffer over the stove during moments of intense heat. Good luck staying cool!