Keeping the kitchen cool this time of year can be a real challenge. Many of us eat warm-weather dishes that cut down on use of the oven and stovetop. Here are a few simple design moves you can also make to keep things from overheating:
- Install a ceiling fan. This time of year, blades should rotate counterclockwise to move air downward.
- Install a countertop toaster oven or microwave if you don't have one already. This will allow you to do some cooking without the use of your larger oven or the open stovetop. If your kitchen is crowded, you can even just use the appliance seasonally and store it away in the cooler months.
- No air conditioning? If you have a kitchen window, try installing a box fan in it facing outward. This will direct hot kitchen air out of the space instead of allowing it to linger.
- Related to the above, if you have a kitchen window(s) - and even if you do have air conditioning - solar gain will still add heat to the space. Try installing a cleanable roller shade to block out that heat from the sun.
- Have a gas range? Turn the gas off for the hottest months - pilot lights can add substantial heat to a small kitchen.
- Trade out incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescents, which give off a lot less heat.
(Image: Flickr member Muffet, licensed for use under Creative Commons)