Unless you live in one of a few select locales within the United States, you experience at least a few weeks of blistering heat during the summer months. And even with an AC system, trying to keep your home cool (without overspending) can be a real challenge.
6 Ideas to Keep Your House Cool
A hot home is a miserable home. It leaves you feeling sweaty, sticky, and aggravated. It makes it difficult to sleep and hard to focus on the tasks and chores you’re supposed to be doing. But you don’t have to live life this way.
Using a few of the following tips, you can keep your house cool for less.
- Keep Blinds Closed
Everyone likes some natural light pouring into the home, but remember that light is heat. So all of that sunlight is actually heating up your home and driving up your cooling costs.
One simple solution is to keep your blinds closed for the majority of the day (and especially when there’s direct sunlight early in the morning or late in the afternoon).
According to FamilyHandyMan.com, roughly 30 percent of unwanted heat comes through your windows. By using shades, insulating curtains, or window film on windows, you can save up to 7 percent annually on your cooling costs.
- Be Smart With Windows and Doors
Windows and doors represent huge problem areas for homeowners. Not only do they let in heat when there is frequent open and closing, but they’re also prone to having gaps and cracks around them. These represent key transfer points that allow cool air to escape and warm air to penetrate. Get serious about caulking and weatherstripping windows and doors. It only costs a few bucks, but can save you hundreds per year.
As far as interior doors go, consider closing off unused rooms. This prevents cool air from the rest of the house filling up these rooms and takes some of the burden off of your AC system to maintain the correct temperature.
- Keep Your AC System in Tip-Top Shape
Speaking of your AC system, it’s important that you keep it in top-top shape.
According to Intelligent Design AC, there are four parts of the system that you should be familiar with:
- The air handler, which blows air through the evaporator coil and into the ductwork.
- The evaporator coil, which sits on top of the furnace and circulates refrigerant to cause the cooling effect.
- The condenser, which is the outdoor unit consisting of a compressor, large radiator coil, and fan.
- The air ducts, which consist of insulated flexible types that snake through the attic floor and/or underneath the house.
Keeping these four components in good shape will ensure you get the desired performance over a long period of time. It’ll also increase the efficiency of your home and reduce uneven and inconsistent cooling.
- Run a Dehumidifier
If you live in a humid climate, your house will feel hotter than it actually is. By lowering the humidity inside your home, you can feel cooler. Buy a good quality dehumidifier and install it in the appropriate location within your home.
- Switch Out Light Bulbs
The average American home has roughly 45 light bulbs, which account for somewhere between 5 to 10 percent of total electricity consumption.
If you’re still using incandescent bulbs – which give off 90 percent of their energy as heat – you can benefit from making the switch to LED and CFL alternatives. It’ll lead to a noticeable improvement in comfort and cost. If you choose to replace all of your old bulbs, you could save somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 annually.
- Grill Out
Nobody should have to encourage you to grill more, but here’s your excuse! Using your oven during the summer months makes your house hotter. And each time you open it up, you’re releasing temperatures in excess of 400 degrees directly into your kitchen. By grilling outside, you eliminate this heat source and keep your house cooler.
Stay Cool, Live Well
It might sound like a “first world problem,” but keeping your house cool is a major priority. And you don’t need some expensive system or outrageous energy bills to accomplish it. By implementing a few of the tips outlined in this article, you can stay cool, reduce your costs, and enjoy happier and more comfortable summers.