Looking forward to summer? Me too! But the heat…well, not so much. Here are some simple fixes to cool your home without breaking the budget; some good ways to optimize your resources and give you a lot of bang for your buck.
1. The first and possibly the easiest tip to cool your home, is to change the direction of your ceiling fans. Fans set for winter will create a breeze upward blowing toward the ceiling. In summer, you’ll want the breeze blowing down into the room, which will make rooms feel cooler and lighten the load on your air conditioner.
2. To cool your home effectively, check the insulation and caulking around all the openings in and out of your house. If it’s been a cold winter, gaps may have formed around doors, windows, pet doors, etc. Keeping the heat out is as important as keeping the cool air inside.
3. Clogged dryer vents can force warm air to blow back into the house. By keeping your dryer vents clean, you’ll avoid raising temperatures inside and cool your home more effectively, saving utility bills.
4. Make use of your bathroom exhaust fan when showering. Hot moist air is your air conditioner’s enemy; all summer long it works hard to replace hot moist air with cool dry air. That wet, muggy air from your bathroom won’t help you cool your home.
5. Plant a shade tree outside where it can benefit the air conditioning unit. Shade from the worst of the summer sun can help your air conditioner function better and cool your home more efficiently.
6. Ever been up to the attic in the middle of summer? Then you’ll know how hot that space on top of your home can be. All that hot air is right up against your ceiling but there is something you can do. Consider installing a vent or an attic fan to dissipate the extra heat and cool your home down at the same time.
7. If you haven’t done so yet, why not switch out your old, hot incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Although your utility bill will be lower because of the direct kilowatt savings, your home will be cooler too. A win-win because compact fluorescent bulbs give off less heat than regular incandescent bulbs helping you cool your home.
8. If you’re concerned about air quality as well as summer heat, a good move would be to have your HVAC filters replaced. Clogged filters reduce the efficiency of an air conditioning system and compromise the quality of the air in your home. If anyone in your home suffers from allergies, you should be replacing the filters every two months or so.