How to Make Your Home Stay Cool in the Summertime
Posted on September 14, 2015
Comparing strategies for staying cool in the summertime is beginning to become a national pastime. These five winning tips can help you beat the heat while reducing your energy bills at the same time.
1. Seal Your Home’s Envelope
Your home’s envelope includes all the materials that separate the interior of your home from the exterior. According to the nation’s leading consumer publication, sealing air leaks in your home can reduce your annual energy costs by as much as $500. Enhance the sealing around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulking. Seal up leaking ductwork. A well-insulated attic can reduce energy expenses by up to 30 percent, according to the Department of Energy.
2. Stay in the Shade
Take a tour of your home’s south- and west-facing windows. Add shades or blinds to window treatments and keep them drawn closed during hot summer days. Consider adding an awning to the south-facing side of your home. Plan for future summers by planting a deciduous tree that will shade your home in summer while allowing sunlight to shine through bare branches in the winter. Painting your home in a light color helps reflect sunlight as well.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
An affordable programmable thermostat can cut your energy costs by as much as 10 percent without sacrificing comfort. Instead of keeping air conditioners running while you’re away, simply program the temperature that you’d like your home to be when you get home. The savvy device will automatically switch on at the optimum time, ensuring that you walk in the door to a comfortably cool home.
4. Minimize Indoor Heat Generation
The last thing that you likely want on a hot summer day is an oven-baked meal. Choose meals that you can cook quickly in the microwave instead or use the outdoor grill. Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. Skip the clothes dryer and hang up clothes on an outdoor clothes line. Remember that lights and electronics generate heat as well. Keep them switched off when not in use.
5. Keep Cool Air Circulating
Anything that you can do to keep your air conditioner working more efficiently during the heat of summer will keep your home cooler and help reduce your energy costs. Make sure that the space around outdoor compressors and condensers is cleared to at least 24 inches. Air conditioner filters may need monthly cleaning or replacement during hot summers. Use ceiling fans to boost your air conditioner’s performance.