Is your room temperature feeling more like a sauna than a living space on hot sunny days? Excessive heat from sunlight pouring in can make anyone feel like they’re baking, and finding relief can be a challenge. But don’t sweat it – with the right techniques, you can lower the thermostat in your sunny room and keep it comfortably cool.
In this post, we’ll exploresmart, innovative solutions to control heat in rooms that get too much sunlight. You’ll discoverproven methods to block the sun’s intense rays, increase refreshing airflow, stop heat at its source, and supplement cooling as needed. We’ll also sharelifestyle tweaks to make the most of your cooler temps. Ready to chill out?
Block the Sun’s Rays
The first line of defense against a hot, sunny room is preventing that sunlight from entering in the first place. Keeping the sun’s heat and light from penetrating the room will make a major difference in lowering the temperature. Here are some of the most effective ways to achieve this.
Window coverings like curtains, blinds, and shades are designed to provide insulation against light and heat from the sun. Opt for coverings made from tightly woven, heavyweight fabrics and materials in dark opacities that limit light penetration. Blackout curtains offer maximum light blockage and are a great option for rooms with intense sun exposure. If you don’t want to block all the light, consider light filtering shades or blinds in light colors that will help reflect heat away from the windows.
Tinted Window Films
Applying window tint films is an inexpensive way to reduce heat gain in a room without sacrificing natural light. These thin plastic films filter out UV rays while controlling glare and reflection. They come in varying tint levels – the darker the film, the more solar heat it blocks. Consider the room’s sun conditions and cooling needs when selecting a film. Professional installation is recommended to avoid bubbles and get the best adhesion.
Close During Day, Open at Night
Be diligent about closing any curtains, blinds or shades in the room during the brightest and hottest times of the day. Doing so can lower indoor temperatures by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It also prevents sunlight from heating up objects in the room which then radiate more heat. Don’t forget to open coverings at night – allowing sunlight to strike closed curtains all day long will trap heat inside. Letting cooler night air in helps release built up warmth.
In addition to blocking sunlight, a key way to cool down a hot room is increasing the movement of air through it. This airflow removes stagnant air and creates a wind chill effect, making the room feel breezier and cooler than it actually is. Consider these airflow boosting strategies.
Ceiling and Portable Fans
Operating ceiling fan(s) on the room’s highest setting can help circulate air and create a cooling breeze. For larger rooms, use ceiling fans with higher CFM ratings (cubic feet per minute) for maximum air displacement. Position portable fans near open windows to enhance the cooling airflow. The chill effect feels even greater when you place bowls of ice cubes in front of fans and let the cold air blow across your skin.
Open Windows Strategically
While letting in fresh outdoor air can help, avoid opening windows at the hottest times of day. The incoming air could be warmer than what’s already in the room. The most effective ventilation happens in early morning and at night when temperatures drop outside. Create cross breezes by opening windows on opposite walls so air can travel through the entire room.
Bathroom, attic and whole house fans exhaust hot stale air and draw in fresh air from outside. Run these fans in the evenings to remove built-up heat from sunny days. A whole house fan can completely exchange air in a home every few minutes, pulling in cooler nighttime air through open doors and windows.
Manage Heat Sources
Your sunny room will stay cooler if you can minimize internal heat gains from appliances, lights and activities happening inside. Here are some tips to limit excess warmth emanating indoors.
Minimize Internal Heat
When possible, shift any cooking, laundry, dishwashing and other heat-emitting tasks to morning or late evening hours. Turn off computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use – even appliances in standby mode give off some heat. Unplugging unused chargers also eliminates “phantom” energy draw.
Insulate and Radiant Barriers
Adding insulation in walls, floors and ceilings reduces heat transfer into your home, keeping rooms cooler. Blown-in cellulose or spray foam insulation offers seamless installation. Rigid foam boards also insulate effectively. For roof decking, apply a reflective radiant barrier facing air spaces to deflect solar radiation.
Sometimes despite your best heat blocking, ventilating and managing efforts, a room still needs extra cooling power. Retrofitting a room with air conditioning or installing a freestanding unit are solutions for keeping comfortable. Here are some top supplemental cooling options.
Portable and Window AC Units
When only one or two rooms need cooling, portable or window air conditioners allow zoned temperature control without central air. Match the unit’s BTU rating to room size for adequate cooling capacity. Energy Star models run efficiently – seek ones with programmable thermostats, timers, and quiet operation. Install window units on the shady side of the home and ensure a tight seal between the AC and window frame.
Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, utilize the cooling power of water evaporation to chill indoor air. A fan draws dry outside air through damp pads where it becomes humidified before entering rooms. The moisture absorbed into the air causes it to drop in temperature. These units work best in hot, arid climates.
Fans with Misters or Ice
For quick spot cooling, set up a fan blowing across a bowl of ice cubes or an ice pack – the moving air will feel chilled. Commercial mister fans combine water mist and a powerful breeze for an instant cooling effect. But take care to avoid getting surfaces near electronics too damp.
Lifestyle and Behavior Changes
Making some small tweaks to daily routines can also help minimize your time spent in hot rooms.
Close Doors to Hot Rooms
On sweltering sunny days, keep the door to hot rooms closed to contain the heat in there, rather than letting it spread through your whole indoor space. Consider adding door seals and sweeps to block airflow escaping under doors.
Adjust Cooking and Chore Schedule
Avoid using heat-emitting appliances like ovens and clothes dryers during the hottest daylight hours. Shift tasks like cooking, baking and laundry to early morning or after sunset to limit indoor heat gain. Another option is cooking outdoors on a grill to keep kitchens cooler.
Spend Time Elsewhere
Why stay in the hottest room in the house? Move activities to naturally cooler spots like shady porches, basements or the north side of your home during peak sun hours. Simply being in cooler areas prevents overheating.
Excessive sun exposure can turn rooms into sweltering hot boxes, but you now have the know-how to transform them into relaxing, comfortable spaces. Blocking sunlight, ventilating with strategic airflow, managing internal heat sources, and supplemental cooling will get temperatures under control. Also tweaking schedules and habits to avoid hot rooms helps limit discomfort. Beating the heat in sun-drenched rooms takes a multi-step approach.
We hope these tried and true techniques shared from experience provide the relief you seek. Don’t let oppressive heat keep you from enjoying your home. Try our tips to take back control of your comfort and start feeling cooler fast despite the sunshine!