How to Keep Your Upstairs Cool in Summer (on a Budget)

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated January 16, 2021

It's that time again when scorching summer temperatures are on their way. And since heat rises, the upstairs of your home can become unbearable. Running your central air or A/C on full blast, however, can rack up serious energy bills.

Keep reading for budget-friendly ways to cool the upstairs of your house. 

The Best Method to Keep Upstairs Cool in Summer 

There’s a bit of a misconception that it’s impossible to cool your upstairs bedrooms without AC. One of the best, lowest-cost methods is with two box fans: 

  • Open all bedroom doors to let air circulate.
  • Open the back bedroom window and place a fan in it. Make sure it blows into the room to pull cooler evening air inside.
  • Open a front-bedroom window and place a fan in it. Make sure that this one blows outward to draw the cooler air through the rest of the second floor. 

Other Fans That Can Cool Your Bedroom 

If used in tandem with box fans, the following options will help lower the temperature of your upstairs bedrooms:

Ceiling Fans 

When used properly, ceiling fans have a cooling effect, too. The trick is to use a reverse setting (so it moves counterclockwise). Ceiling fans move cool air around, which helps make air conditioning more efficient and creates a cool, breezy feeling.

Exhaust Fans

The exhaust fan in the kitchen can also help cool your house down. After you've cooked lunch or dinner, run it for a few hours to help pull hot air out of your home. 

Other Effective Tips on Keeping Your House Cool in Summer

Fans are an extremely effective way to cool down a house, but there are other simple techniques that can also keep a house cool during the summer. 

Keep Your Thermostat 75º and Above

Don't set the thermostat at 65ºF in hopes of cooling the house more quickly. The unit cools air at the same rate no matter what the setting, so you’ll just end up using more energy (and spending more money). Instead, set your thermostat at 75ºF or above and let it do its magic.

Close Your Blinds & Curtains

It might be tempting to open the blinds and let the sunshine in, but windows and insulation trap heat inside and turn your space into a greenhouse. So does a dark room stay cooler during hot summer months? Absolutely! 

Turn off Your Lights 

About 90% of the energy used by incandescent lights creates heat, not light. That’s why you should turn off lights when they're not in use. Better yet, replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 75% less energy.  

Cook Outside

When have you really craved a casserole in summer? Instead of using an inside oven, grill outside or opt for salads and sandwiches. 

Use Appliances Strategically

Washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers produce a surprising amount of heat. Opt for running these during the cooler morning hours.

Clean out Your Filters

Since clean filters work more efficiently than dirty ones, wash or replace air-conditioning filters every month. 

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If you’re looking for smarter ways to save money – without making huge sacrifices to your budget – consider our expert financial tips. There’s never a wrong time to discover money-saving tips! 

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