27 Apr

Keep Your House Cool

Here in the Northwest, with our temperate weather, not all homes have air conditioning. Installing a/c can be really costly and can increase your energy bills during the summers months. You may find that it’s not especially cost-effective, especially in light of the fact that the Pacific Northwest doesn’t have the hot, humid summers our friends to the east and south of us do. So, what can you do to keep your house cool during the hottest days of the year?

10 Ways To Keep Your House Cool

  • Invest in good window shades, and pay particular attention to making sure the East and West facing windows are effectively covered. 
    • When shopping, pay attention to these R-value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. R-value refers to the shade’s ability to block out temperature differences. SHGC is a measure of how much solar energy passes into your home.
  • Invest in a ceiling fan – A service we provide, a ceiling fan that is rotating counter-clockwise in the room will keep the cooler air circulating. Find out more about our ceiling fan installation here.
  • Invest in an attic fan – We also provide attic fan installation. Attic fans work by moving the heated air of your house that has collected in your attic space outside. You can purchase a manual plug-in fan, or one with a thermostat that you can set to trigger the fan when the attic reaches a certain temperature. Attic fans are helpful for homes with air conditioning installed, as well, because they can help ease the burden on the a/c.
  • Keep your house closed tight during the day Opening your windows at night, and then closing them up tight during the day can help keep the cool night air in your house. Using fans at night helps keep the air circulating as well.
  • Close south and west-facing curtains during the day – This applies to any windows in your house that get direct sunlight as well.
  • Cook outside.  Cranking up your stove, or even other appliances like the dishwasher, washer and dryer, and keeping your computers running will crank up the temperature. The weather is great – enjoy it with some barbecue.
  • Tune your windows – This one might sound a little strange, but stay with me here: Use The Bernoulli Effect to your advantage. The air on the top and downwind side of your house will be at a lower pressure than on the upwind side. If you have double-hung windows, open the bottom section of the window on the UPWIND side of your house, and open the upper section on the DOWNWIND side of your house, and the lower pressure will help suck the air through your house. 
  • Hang awnings – The use of awnings, particularly on the south-facing windows of your house, can help block the heat gain.
  • Close the doors on rooms you aren’t using – keep the cooler air circulating where you are, not where you aren’t.
  • Drink icy, cool drinks, run through your sprinkler outside, head to one of the many wonderful Portland-area public fountainsWhen all-else fails: escape.


Hopefully we’ve provided you with a few air-conditioning-free ways to keep your house cool during these hotter summer months. To find out more about our ceiling and attic fan installation services, give us a call. 

Eastside: 503-252-4700

Westside: 503-643-8833

About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.