Keeping cool in summer heat

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It may feel nice to keep the air-conditioning on full blast — but when you do that, you’re running your energy costs sky-high and doing Mother Nature no favors. We spoke with Taniya Nayak, host of HGTV’s “House Hunters on Vacation,” for better tips for beating the heat.

Choose your fabrics wisely
Whether it’s window treatments or pillows, cotton and linen are great, lightweight choices, she says.

Replace your rugs
“If you have a heavy carpet, a really inexpensive solution is to pick up a natural-fiber jute rug. They’re very nautical, so it gives you that sense of coolness. You feel like you’re on the beach.”

Paint zen colors

“Light, more powdery pastel colors are very cooling and soothing. You could even go tan as long as it’s a grayish, taupy tan.”

Add white window shades

“They’re white so they’ll reflect the light off. Cellular or honeycomb shades are awesome too, because they almost trap the heat in the cellular compartments of the shade.”

Work with nature

“If you plant trees on the south or west sides of your house, it’ll keep it cooler in the summer — but it’ll actually keep it warmer in the winters because the sun sets and rises on the opposite side in winter.”

Stay away during midday

Do dishes, wash and dry your clothes and cook in the morning or night. “You’re just trying to avoid that midday heat — that’s when it’s the worst.”

Think long-term

“If you’re going to live there for awhile, add insulation to your attic. It’ll dramatically reduce the heat that’s in your house.”

Don’t underestimate a fan

“Every person always wants to take them out. I love to fall asleep under a fan in my bedroom. There are nice styles to them now.”


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