4 Tips for Keeping an Old House Cool & Comfortable in Hot Weather

by Mike Flannagan 09/05/2021

Vintage homes are full of charm and character. Unfortunately, if they haven’t had extensive updates, old houses might have poor insulation and other structural issues. While these things may not hinder your ability to live happily in an old house, they can lead to higher utility bills. If you live in an old house without air conditioning, hot weather might be especially difficult. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping an old house cool during the hottest days of the year.

Hang Blackout Curtains

Windows that light up your home are also the leading contributor of indoor heat. However, with older homes the problem may not just be the light but the insulation. Luckily, both things can be mitigated by hanging up blackout curtains. These thick curtains will block the light from coming inside the home and heating it up, but will also help seal the warm air from outside that may sneak in.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Check to see if your ceiling fans are spinning the right direction to deal with hot air. In the summer months, they should spin counter-clockwise in order to move warm air up toward the ceiling and away from the living space. This will also push the cooler air down closer to the ground and make the overall temperature much more comfortable. Typically, you can find a directional switch on the ceiling fan itself or you can use a wall switch if available.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs

Most of the energy from incandescent lightbulbs comes out as heat. If you have built-in fixtures with incandescent lights, you might generate enough unneeded heat to affect the overall temperature in a noticeable way. Check ceiling fixtures, sconces and lamps to investigate what types of bulbs they are using. Swapping out incandescents for LED lightbulbs will save you money and last longer, too.

Open Up at Night

Once the sun goes down and the outside temperature falls, it’s time to open up any doors and windows you can. Let in cool air from outside and promote circulation by making sure you have an open door or window on each directional end of the home. If you don’t have screens for doors or windows, you may install some without damaging the existing molding or walls. To speed up the process, place a box fan in front of an open window or door to blow the outside air in and cool off the home.

You can enjoy the charm and character of a vintage building while still being comfortable in any weather. Try these tips to beat the heat while benefiting from lower energy expenditure at the same time.

About the Author

Mike Flannagan

Mike Flannagan, Principal Broker @FlannaganAssociates. Mr. Flannagan began his real estate career in 1991, Mike’s educational and professional experiences have provided a strong foundation in his real estate career. Such a background has been exceptionally useful in understanding, managing, problem-solving, and ultimately closing complex transactions. These talents, however, do not preclude equal success in navigating more traditional transactions, where Mike’s naturally strong work-ethic and contagiously kind personality complete the full circle of his effectiveness as a true and pleasant partner in the purchase and sale of a full range of real estate assets. Mike is also a Master Real Estate Developer and has worked on various communities right here in Loudoun County. Additionally, he also build’s luxury custom homes through his entity Virginia One Development priced from $3-million and up. Mike has passed $1 Billion in total life time achievement in transactions.