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How to keep your house cool in summer without electricity when and you're in full board preserving mode, aka a homesteader kitchen in summer is vastly different than the majority of main stream society, can be a challenge. We've got bread to bake, cast iron skillets to sizzle, Mason jars and canners waiting to be filled, and it doesn't matter what the temperature outside is, we need to get it done.
But that doesn't mean we have to suffer or forgo preserving all the bounty to stock our larders. We're going to look at old-fashioned ways to keep your house cool in summer naturally as well as yourself, because ya can't keep a good homesteader down, right?!
Listen below to, How to Keep Your House Cool In Summer Naturally Without Electricity #148 of the Pioneering Today Podcast, where we teach families how to grow, preserve and cook their own food using old-fashioned skill sets and wisdom to create a natural self-sufficient home, with, or without, the homestead.
How to Keep Your House Cool in Summer Without Electricity
We've never had air conditioning and when you can over 400 jars of food a year, you get creative and learn how to stay cool without electricity.
8 Tips on How to Keep House Cool in Summer Naturally
Block the windows. It's always cooler in the shade and same thing goes for your house, especially on southern exposure windows. Close blinds and curtains in the morning. You may also want to look into black out curtains (we use these in our bedroom).
Minimize opening and closing the doors. It's pretty amazing how much heat comes in by even fast opening and closing of doors through out the day. This can be difficult with kids (I've been known to lock the southern exposure door so they have to use the other doors) but can make a difference of at least 2 or 3 degrees. Try to use doors that are northern exposure or in the shade and as little as possible.
Plant deciduous trees strategically. This one is going to take some time to pay off and you needs to be done with thought. I say deciduous because you don't want an evergreen tree blocking the sunlight in the dead of winter when we actually want the heat of the sun to warm our house (especially true if you have solar panels or plans of going solar in the future).Take care you're not planting the trees too close to the house where you'll have the potential for limbs, roots invading the foundation or septic system, and leaves clogging the gutters. You'll also want to make sure you don't plant in a spot that would block sunlight to your garden. Most fruits and vegetables require at least 8 hours of full sunlight a day for optimal production.
Open the windows at night. Let nature cool off your home for you. As soon as the sun begins to fall behind the horizon, monitor the outside temp with inside and when it's the same or cooler, open all those windows. In the height of summer we generally open our windows and sliding glass doors at 7:30 pm and leave them open overnight until about 7:30 am the next morning. (We have a guard dog and other home security measures in place).
Minimize oven and stove top use. We're a from scratch cooking house and that doesn't stop in the middle of summer. I adore my Instant Pot, it lets me cook my favorite meals without heating up the house or being plugged in for hours on end like a slow cooker (but a slow cooker helps keep the house cool too if you don't have a beloved Instant Pot).
Out door cooking. I use our Sun Oven (solar oven) a lot in the summer to put that heat and sunlight to use. Fire up that grill or cook over an open fire. We do a lot of grilling and Dutch oven cooking and baking during the summer months.Not only do we enjoy it, but it keep the house cool while still allowing me to bake all of our favorite goodies and dishes.This is especially helpful during power outages and a skill set we use all year long.We have a brand new series starting on cast iron and outdoor cooking for Pioneering Today Academy members, you can click here to be sign up for notification when we open for enrollment again!
Create a Summer Kitchen. This is an old practice when a separate building was used to cook and preserve foods during the heat of summer. Another variation of this is a dog trot house, where an open breezeway connected two separate one story structures, one side was used for sleeping and main quarters, while usually the other was for cooking and the kitchen.We take the same idea here on our homestead and create an outdoor summer kitchen. We have a permanent fire pit for an open fire and to set our Dutch ovens in, with another pit that's waist high with a grate over it for frying or roasting, with an accompanying long counter next to it.I also use this same area to install an outdoor canning kitchen with a two burner propane stove. (You'll find a full lesson on this covered in our Home Canning with Confidence course and part of the Pioneering Today Academy)
Be strategic on when you use the kitchen. If you must use the stove in the kitchen, I've found I prefer using it in the evening when I'm either just about ready to open the windows or know I will be shortly so the house can begin it's nightly cool down. Some people will say to do it in the morning before the heat of the day, but I find that just raises the temperature in the house without anyway to cool it down when you don't have air conditioning and prefer the evening route.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.