Keeping your cool is not only a matter of having fans and air conditioning. There are also methods of cooling your home that use little or no energy. Here are some tips:

- Before you look at ways to cool your home, be sure you are doing all you can to keep the heat out. Just as caulking, weatherstripping and insulating help you cut down on the amount of heat your lose from your home in the winter, they can minimize the heat that enters in the summer.- Adequate ventilation in the attic will minimize heat buildup. A ventilation contractor can help you determine whether your house needs more vents. Gable-end, louvered vents are the most common type, but continuous soffit and ridge vents may work better. A general rule of thumb is to provide a vent area one-three hundredth the area of the attic floor if there is a vapor barrier in the ceiling below the attic.

- Awnings on east and west windows provide shade from late morning and early afternoon sun. Light-colored awnings reflect the most sun. Retractable awnings allow flexibility for cooler days.

- Window treatments can also make a difference. Light-colored, opaque roller shades or venetian blinds can help. Heat-absorbing tinted glass is another option. Keep blinds and shades closed in rooms that face the sun.

- Bushes and trees on the south and west sides of the house can provide shade and minimize heat gain.

- Close the doors to any rooms not in use.

- Let cool air accumulate during the night, then keep windows and doors shut during the day.

- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes. This wardrobe will enhance the evaporation of moisture from your skin, and in turn, cool you down.