It may feel nice to keep the AC on full blast from now until September, but when you do that, you’re running your energy costs sky-high and not doing Mother Nature any favours.

We spoke with Taniya Nayak, host of HGTV’s House Hunters on Vacation, who offered some better tips for beating the summer heat.

Paint zen colours

“The light, more powdery pastel colours are very cooling and soothing. You could even go tan as long as it’s like a grayish-taupy tan.”

Pick the right shades

“If you’re going to do window treatments, you could just add white window shades. They’re white so they’ll reflect the light off. Cellular shades or honeycomb shades are awesome too because they almost trap the heat in the cellular compartments of the shade. They’re a little more expensive, but I think if you’re living in a house for a long time it would be a good investment to make.”

Replace your rugs

“If you have a heavy carpet, a really inexpensive solution is to pick up one of those natural fibre jute rugs. They’re almost very nautical in a sense so it gives you that sense of coolness. It makes you feel like you’re on the beach.”

Switch out your light bulbs

“Most people have incandescent bulbs but they burn a lot of energy, so you could swap them out for a more energy-efficient fluorescent bulb.”

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 the winter.”

Stay away during mid-day

“Sometimes it’s a better idea to shower in the morning or at night and not in middle of the day; same thing with doing dishes, washing and drying your clothes, cooking — all that stuff can help reduce heat in the house. 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 it might be worth [adding] insulation to your attic. You could go up to like 12 inches of insulation and it’ll dramatically reduce the heat that’s in your house.”

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