The warmer seasons are on the way, so it’s time to prepare! I know it sounds odd to say “prepare for warmth!”, especially when we’re all looking forward to it. This winter has been a harsh one all over the globe!

But when we’re in the midst of winter we can forget how unpleasant the heat can be. Especially in big, busy cities like New York where the humidity and the pollution mix together to create an oven-like atmosphere. We may not want winter back exactly, but we end up wishing we’d taking steps to cool down sooner!

So why not start taking steps now? Here are some things to consider in the coming weeks.

Photo: Flickr

1. Your air conditioning

If you have cooling air conditioning, it’s probably been a while since you used it. Before the heath hits, try giving it a test run. Make sure it actually works. You don’t want to find it’s not working properly when the sun shows its warming face.

Give the unit itself a good inspection. Dust may have been building up, which will affect the airflow efficiency. Another thing that will affect the efficiency is the temperature around the unit. Is it warm? Is there direct sunlight on the unit? It needs to be cool in order to do its job as well as possible.

Another tip is to make sure you get a good electric fan. These consume very small amounts of electricity, whereas air conditioning is a drain on your resources. It’s a good idea try using a fan first before trying air conditioning.

2. Sunlight and where’s it’s going to shine

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Which way are your windows facing? How much sunlight gets in? Your north and west-facing windows are going to get hit the most in the hot hours.

If your rooms get flooded with sunlight, then they’re going to become unpleasantly hot very quickly. Window treatments will help keep the room cool. Getting curtains with strong sun-blocking capabilities is a good idea. Blinds are particularly popular. They will let you get a good balance of sunlight allowance and air flow if your window is open. Whatever you go with, I recommend light colours, as close to white as your taste allows. Black will just absorb heat whereas white will reflect it!

Photo: Flickr

A more unconventional method is to shade those windows from the outside. Consider getting some small potted trees to place outside. This will help keep the sun outside where it belongs. It will also help your garden look stylish!

3. Your routine

Several things in your routine may heat up you and your house. If you exercise, when and where are you doing it? You might need to start doing it later, during cooler hours. Using the oven will generate heat that will circulate throughout your home. Doing the dishes also does this, whether you’re washing them manually or using a dishwasher.

When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evenings. This may involve changing up your routine. It’s unlikely these things will affect your life too much, but it’s something to consider.