Things You Can Do Right Now:

Use fans strategically.  Ceiling fans: Make sure your fan is running in the right direction: In the summer, you should feel the breeze from your fan blowing down. And remember, ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, so turn it off when you leave the room.

Eat cold meals.  Just as drinking a nice cold cocktail cools your body, eating cold food helps keep your internal temperature lower on a hot day. If you do cook, use the grill or the microwave — your oven and stove will only make your kitchen hotter.

Things To Do To Help In The Future:

Install attic insulation.  While attic fans may not help to significantly cool your home, attic insulation can by keeping cooler air in your home from escaping through the ceiling. If you have central air, be sure to seal ducts — especially at vents and registers — or else you could lose up to 20% of your cooled air.

Plant trees strategically.  Your house gets hot because the sun beats down on it. Let nature help reduce your energy bills by planting deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home; in the summer, their broad leaves will shade your house, while in the winter, bare branches won't stop the sun's warmth from reaching your walls.

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