Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means: it’s about to get hot. As in, the kind of hot that makes your air conditioner struggle to keep up.
In order to stay cool in the summer, especially in the South, cranking up the A/C is one way to combat the heat, but it’s not cheap. Running your air conditioning for long periods of time can have a significant impact on your energy bills and reduce your efficiency.
Here are some efficient ways to help keep your house cool all summer long.
1. Utilize Your Fans
When not running the air conditioner (or to supplement it), use the fans around your house to your advantage by pointing your box fans out your window, so the hot air gets pushed out. You can also adjust your ceiling fan blades to spin counter-clockwise, which pulls the hot air up and out, instead of just twirling the air around the room. This may seem simple, but it can make a big difference.
2. Move Indoor Activities Outside
Have you ever considered cooking outside? That may sound weird, but by moving heat-inducing activities (such as cooking) outdoors, you stop heat from permeating your home. Activities that can’t be conveniently moved outside, like your dishes or laundry, can wait until nighttime when it’s a little cooler. Consider drying your clothes outside to reduce heat from the dryer - bonus: sunlight can act as a natural stain remover and whiten your whites.
3. Close Your Blinds
Even though letting in natural light has a lot of benefits, it’s not as great when it’s really hot outside. Closing your blinds is one way to help keep the sun out during the day and reduce the amount of heat coming into your home. Light-colored blinds are better at keeping out the heat than darker blinds, but both can do the trick.
4. Evaluate Your Windows
Your windows are one of the best methods of keeping out the heat. Examine all of the windows in your house to see how well they keep the heat out and the cool in. Older single pane windows and doors can be susceptible to letting heat in, especially if they don’t have proper weather stripping.
If your windows are older and without weather stripping, consider investing in energy-efficient windows that keep the heat out. One option is to install windows with Low-E, or low emissivity, glass. Low-E glass blocks out a substantial portion of ultraviolet (UV) light and infrared (IR) light, while still allowing the majority of visible light to pass through. Controlling and blocking IR light lessens the passage of heat through your window. This kind of glass is popular because it can help maintain your home's temperature and increase energy efficiency.
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5. Service Your Air Conditioner/Furnace
Now is a great time to get your air conditioner or furnace checked out to make sure everything is running properly. You don’t want to be without A/C when the temperature really ramps up, so it’s best to prepare early and schedule a service appointment. You should also ensure your air filters are clean to keep your HVAC from having to work too hard. This is another seemingly minor step, but it is important when it comes to your home’s temperature and overall efficiency.
6. Plant Trees Strategically
Have you ever thought about where your trees are placed? Are they in a spot where they’re providing shade to your house? If not, it may be worth it to plant shade trees around your house in spots where they can help keep heat from reaching your home.
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7. Adjust Your Thermostat Accordingly
If you have a programmable thermostat, use it to your advantage. During the day, set it as high or low as you need it, and then raise the temperature point up at night when you go to sleep or when you’re not home. With the rise of smart thermostats, it makes adjusting your thermostat even easier. This is just another way to keep your energy bill down and stay efficient.
In the end, you want to be comfortable inside your house in the hot summer months. No one likes to sweat while sitting on their couch. Utilizing these tips can help keep you comfortable and avoid sweating, all while keeping your home cool, efficient, and relaxing.