How to Cool Apartment without turning on A/C

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While it’s tempting to turn on the AC or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan, these aren’t the only tricks to keeping cool. It turns out there are plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat without racking up your electric bill.

A few tips to keep in mind….
1. Keep your blinds closed. 

As simple as this tip may seem, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and ushades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. In other words, closing the blinds essentially
revents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially the case for south- andwestfacing windows.

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2. Be smart about your doors.

Closing doors off in certain rooms will prevent the cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to take advantage of this on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.

3. Use a fan instead of turning on the AC. 

Not even an air conditioner can give off a faux sea breeze….but try this. Fill a mixing bowl with ice or something equally cold, like an ice pack and position it at an angle in front of a large fan, so that the air whips off the ice at an extra-chilled, extra-misty temperature. Or place frozen water bottles in front of the fan. Trust us: it’s magic.

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4. Change your sheets.

Not only does changing your bedsheets freshen up a room, it’s a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler.

5. Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise. 

Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a breeze that will make you and your guests “feel” cooler.

6. Turn on your bathroom and kitchen fans.

… the exhaust fan in your bath and kitchen pull the hot air that rises after you shower or cook out of your apartment.

 7. Let the night air in.

During the summer months, temperatures drop during the night. Make the most of these hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed.

8. Ditch the incandescent lights.

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If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps shown above) this is it. Incandescent bulbs (old style type) waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, they get hot!! So tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill.

9. Start grilling.

It’s obvious, but we’re going to say it anyway: Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels like 100+ degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven.

Simple Moving Tips

Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, moving can be a hassle. But there are proven ways to minimize stress, confusion and damage when you leave one home for another.

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If you’re contemplating moving here are some ways you can make the move easier:

Friends or professionals?  Make your arrangements in advance. 
Whether you have friends to help you move or decide to hire professionals, make your arrangements several weeks ahead of time. Even a DIY move may mean renting a truck or arranging for short-term storage.

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Start Packing Well in Advance. Waiting until the last minute to pack is a recipe for disaster. Start with little-used, decorative and seasonal items, saving the functional “must-have” items to pack for the very end.

Sell or donate unused clothes and household items. 
Moving is a great time to “clean house” by staging a garage sale, putting rarely-used items on Ebay or Craig’s List, and making donations to your favorite charity. You’ll not only end up with less to move, but you’ll have some extra cash in hand as well.

Use clothes to wrap fragile items. 
Bubble wrap is expensive. So use your clothes to wrap dishes and other breakables. Put glasswear inside clean socks.

Stack plates on their edges. 
Speaking of dishes, if you’re packing plates in a box, insert them vertically like vinyl records. They’re a lot less likely to break that way.

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Pack stemware glasses upside down. 
Placing stemware upside down puts all the pressure on their large rims instead of their fragile stems.

Pack in layers. 
When boxing up mis-matched items, pack in layers. Put the heaviest items on the bottom and the lighter ones on top. Put crushed paper on the bottom of each box for cushioning.

Make sure each box is packed solid. 
Boxes shouldn’t rattle and items shouldn’t shift inside. Also, make sure each is sealed tightly.

Put your “first use” items in clear plastic bins. 
The last items you pack will probably be the first ones you unpack. Pack these “first use” items in clear plastic bins so you know exactly what and where they are.

Mark each box by destination. 
Put all kitchen items together. Likewise, pack living room items and bedroom items together. Mark each box accordingly. Using different color tape to color-code destinations will make it even easier to properly target the boxes when you reach your new home.

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File a “Change of Address” form with your local post office. 
This is something you should do at least two weeks before you actually move.

Keep important papers with you. 
If you have important documents like legal papers, addresses, contracts or passportsput them in a single envelope and carry it with you when you move.

Pack an overnight bag with all your personal essentials. 
Even if you’re just moving next door, you should have an overnight bag with all your personal items — and a fresh change of clothes — so you’ll be ready to function the next day.