School is out, the pools are open, and hot weather is headed your way. Are you ready? Is your home ready? Keeping cool doesn’t need to involve running the air conditioner full-blast all summer. Here are some tips to help keep your house cool and comfortable all summer long without driving your power bills through the roof.
Keep The Air Moving
Image via Flickr by matsuyuke
If you can keep the air in your home circulating, you’ll reduce the load on your air conditioner. Install ceiling fans in the rooms where you spend the most time. Add a box fan to a window for days when it’s cool enough to open the house. A desk or clip-on fan can help keep you fresh at your desk or while you’re working in the kitchen.
Larger rooms may be more difficult to keep cool, but it’s not impossible. Add a floor-stand fan to one corner of large rooms where the air gets stale. The old-fashioned trick of putting a large bowl of ice in front of a fan does a suprisingly good job of bringing temperatures down.
Stop the Sun
According to Family Handyman, up to 30% of the summer heat that enters your home is coming in through your windows. Shades, curtains, and tinted films can cut temperatures inside your house by up to 20 degrees and save up to seven percent on your cooling bills. Pay special attention to windows that face south or west, where strong sunlight can turn your rooms into heat-producing greenhouses.
Offer Your Cooling System Some TLC
Your cooling system will be under a lot of stress during the hot summer months. Help your air conditioner run more efficiently by replacing filters monthly, cleaning intake ducts regularly, and having a professional service the equipment and clean all its inner components at the beginning of the season. According to Dyess Heating & Air, changing your filter regularly and having the system cleaned will not only help you cool your home more efficiently but will also improve your indoor air quality this summer.
Close Off Unused Rooms
There’s no point cooling rooms that no one is using. During the day, close the vents in the bedrooms and pull the doors closed. If you have other rooms that aren’t used often, close them off as well. At night, open doors and let the cooler night air flow freely through the house.
Switch Your Bulbs
Traditional light bulbs give off a surprising amount of heat, and halogen bulbs are even worse. Consider compact flourescent lights (CFLs) or LED bulbs. Not only do they use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they give off far less heat as well.
Turn your home into a cool oasis this summer without running up massive power bills by playing it smart inside your house. Ceiling fans, window shades, fresh filters for your air conditioner, and cool-burning light bulbs should go a long way toward keeping your family comfortable no matter how hot the days get outdoors.