Cooling Your Home During The Summer
Summer is finally here. For many of us, that means BBQs, pool parties, and fun in the sun. However, there are days where the sun just isn’t that fun. It’s important to remember that high energy use associated with cooling your home in the summer contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. That’s why we put together this list of tips and tricks to keep your house cool, save you money, and be kind to the Earth at the same time.
1. Close your blinds.
If you have any windows that receive direct sunlight, you’ll benefit from keeping the blinds closed for the sunniest part of the day. Keep them closed, especially on north and west-facing windows, to significantly cool your home. For rooms on lower floors, try turning the blinds upwards to prevent heat from sneaking through. Better yet, invest in some blackout curtains to help in cooling your home because of that harsh summer sun. Consumer Reports recommends neutral-colored curtains with white plastic backings to reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.
2. Block the heat.
Stopping heat from getting into your house in the first place means you will end up spending less on cooling. Shade windows and walls using external coverings, like blinds, awnings, blackout curtains, or large potted plants. Plant large trees that cast shade over your home in summer, but will still let the sun shine through in the winter.
Another way to block the heat is by applying heat-reducing film to your windows. As a bonus, it even helps to keep warm air inside during the winter months. It is quick and easy to install.
3. Turn your thermostat up.
If you have to use the air conditioner, try to set the thermostat as high as you feel comfortable with. Increasing your thermostat by just one degree can reduce the costs of running the air conditioner. If you are looking to upgrade your air conditioner, pick one with a high Energy Star rating.
4. Install ceiling fans.
Moving air makes you feel cooler. However, fans that aren’t rotating counter-clockwise are just pushing the hot air around your home. Install ceiling fans that rotate counter-clockwise to push air straight down, and adjust them in winter to clockwise so they can pull cool air up. Set the fan speed on high in summer, and low in winter. You can also run your bathroom exhaust fans during the summer months. This will help expel the rising warm air to the exterior of your home.
Other smaller fans are also great options to keep your home cool. It just feels better when the air is circulating.
5. Close doors and seal gaps.
Close doors to rooms you aren’t using to keep cool air where you need it most. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders to ensure the cool air can’t escape.
Evaporative air-conditioners will be more effective if you open some doors and windows to increase airflow through the home.
6. Open windows at night.
Take advantage of the cool summer breeze at night. Open your windows to help create a cross-breeze in your home. This cool air will circulate through the home all night, giving you a fresh and breezy home to wake up to.
7. Change your lightbulbs
If you’re having trouble cooling your home and can’t work out what the problem is, incandescent lightbulbs might be to blame. These lightbulbs produce a lot of heat, so switching to energy-saving bulbs can help cool your home and save heaps on energy costs.
8. Install a programmable thermostat.
Installing a programmable thermostat can help keep your home cool and save a bundle on energy costs. If you’re out of the house all day, you can program your thermostat to reduce the temperature a few degrees before you come home, so when you arrive it’s comfortably cool without wasting energy all day. This makes cooling your home something that you can set and forget.
9. Give your ducts a boost.
With its easy plug-in-and-power-on design, installing a duct booster fan can draw more cool air into a room that’s too hot. Simply choose the design that’s right for you, place it in the register vent, and plug it in for a quick and easy way to cool your space.
10. Invest in a portable air conditioner.
A portable air conditioning unit is an excellent solution for cooling the most used areas of your home. Because you can easily move them from room to room, you’ll have cool air wherever you need it most. Another alternative is a seasonal window unit which can be installed in the main room to get the most bang for your cooling buck.
11. Or install a mini-split.
Popular in Europe, a mini-split air conditioner is a mix between a built-in unit and a wall unit. It provides whisper-quiet operation, and its compact size won’t detract from your decor. You can mount a mini-split system anywhere, making it an economical alternative for ductless homes.
12. Maintain your air conditioning unit.
Even if you’ve got a built-in air conditioner, it may not be working at capacity if you have not maintained it every season. Check out our A/C maintenance inspection checklist to make sure your unit is doing its best to keep your family cool and comfortable.
13. Focus on cooling your body, not your house.
Focus on ways to beat the heat from within. Sip tasty iced drinks. Stick a wet washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes and then apply it to your neck or wrists. Other choices include wearing light cotton clothing and getting in some water. Our ancestors managed without air conditioning.
14. Grill more!
When temperatures soar, go outside and grill your meals. Using the oven can raise the temperature of your home considerably. There are various ways to cook everything you can imagine on the grill. If you don’t have a grill, opt for a toaster oven or a slow cooker.
15. Invest in a better roof.
A quality roof keeps warm air out and cold air in your house during the summer. It does the opposite in the wintertime. Cooling your home in the summer is important, especially in St Louis summers. Give us a call at 636-699-0449 so we can make sure your roof is ready to withstand the heat.