Cool It! Creative, Cost-Effective Ways to Make Your Home or Business More Comfortable

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Summer is coming to an end, but many hot days are still to come. There are countless ways to cool off during the sweltering summer heat; ice cold beer comes to mind but you may want something that will last a bit longer. A few investments now can pay off during all the scorching summers to come.

Plant Trees

Trees are great for shade and they offer other advantages as well, including protection from wind, rain and snow. Adding trees to landscaping makes residential and commercial properties more attractive and can increase their value. Trees provide environmental benefits such as retarding soil erosion, absorbing harmful carbon dioxide, removing pollutants from air and water and supplying oxygen. Consult a local arborist for advice regarding what varieties of trees thrive best in your area.

Install Shades

Perhaps you have an incurable brown thumb and no room for trees, or you need immediate shade. Install a retractable canopy for deck; it will make the house cooler and the backyard more attractive. During hot months you can use the canopy every day, then leave it retracted in cooler temperatures to enjoy sunlight streaming in. Should an unexpected heat wave strike, simply extend the covering as needed. After the initial installation of a retractable systemthere is very little maintenance; a sturdy unit will withstand moderate winds and should last for a decade or more.

Use Fans

Several types of fans are useful during mild to moderate temperatures. Ceiling fans move air gently throughout the room avoiding the repressive heat that can build up when air is still. Rotary fans allow you to target airflow into and out of rooms, optimizing the cooling system in the most frequently used rooms. Attic fans are a must all summer long, as they force heat to escape rather than leaving it trapped inside where it sends the interior temperature skyrocketing, along with the power bill.

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