The high temperatures that come with summer can make it a real challenge to keep your apartment cool without spending a fortune. If you are lucky enough to have central air in your apartment, the electric cost alone can quickly break your budget. Unfortunately, the summertime heat and air conditioning don’t result in a lower energy bill.

For those who have a window air conditioner or even worse nothing at all, living in a hot, humid apartment can get uncomfortable really quick, especially if you live on the top floor and/or have walls that get the heat of the afternoon sun. The good news is there are some things you can do, both temperature wise and decoratively that can help you stay cool and get you a lower energy bill.

1. Cover the Windows

If you have windows on more than one side of the apartment, its best to open the windows on the side with the most wind as much as possible and open the windows on the opposite site only about half-way. This will allow for a higher wind velocity, which will allow you to feel cooler.

During the day, the temperatures outside are  outside than inside the apartment, which means it is best to keep the windows closed and covered. Whether you have curtains, shades or blinds, close them during the day. When selecting fabrics for your curtains, choose lighter colored fabrics because they will deflect the sun’s rays better or you can buy insulated curtains which are best for keeping the heat out.

2. Emphasize Cold Materials

lady on the floor

Walking on certain flooring materials feel cooler than others. For example, a stone floor is a good conductor of heat, so when touching it you are transferring warmth to it, which makes you feel cooler. While you can’t install new marble or stone flooring throughout your rental apartment, you can highlight the cool surfaces that are already in place.

Remove the area rugs from tile or wood floors will give you a similar effect as a stone floor.  Whether your countertops are granite, marble or tile, keeping them clean and free from clutter will give the impression of a cooler environment and they also will deflect the heat.

3. Change the Light Bulbs

white bulb

Using the right bulbs can help keep the apartment cooler and save you money. Standard bulbs radiate a lot of heat, so consider switching to CFL’S (compact fluorescent bulbs) to reduce the amount of heat generated from the lights.

Choosing bulbs that are labeled cool white will also give off a light blue shade, which will make the room appear cooler. Always turn lights off when they aren’t in use, both to reduce the heat generated in the room as well as to reduce your energy use.  Trust me! Switch your light bulb and you’ll notice a difference in both the temperature of your room and the rate of energy you use.

4. Decorate in Cool Colors

Think light and bright when it comes to decor. You don’t have to completely remodel the space to give it a cooler feeling. Instead, use accents such as throw pillows, in blues, purples and blue-based greens. These colors will make the space feel cooler and the colors are thought to have a calming effect. Changing the lamp shades to ones with a trim in one of these colors to will add the cooling effect as well as help deflect the heat from the lamp.

5. Cooking Smart

pasta kitchen

Instead of using the oven use a slow-cooker, an indoor or outdoor grill or the microwave. The heat produced by your oven will make the air conditioner work harder than it should in order to cool the house down, which will have a significant impact on your energy use. Invest in a few colorful kitchen appliances that can be used all year round. Plus, this means you won’t have to prepare meals in a hot kitchen, these appliances almost do the work for you.

The summertime is hot and can really do a number on your energy bills. Luckily, there are many ways for you to keep your apartment cool without breaking the bank. A few bonus ideas:

Don’t let the summer drag you down! Keep it cool and use these nifty tips to beat the heat. Simple modifications in your everyday behavior will help you find your way to a lower energy bill. What are some of your favorite summer heat strategies? Let us know in the comment section below!