5 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool During the HOT Summer Months
When the searing, scorching days of summer arrive, it’s tempting to just turn the air conditioner on and leave it running 24-hours a day.
Thankfully, you don’t have to wear your AC—or your bank account—out just to keep your home cool during the hottest months. Savvy summertime heat management strategies can dramatically reduce indoor temperatures regardless of how often you choose to use your air conditioner.
Here are five simple, easy steps you can take to keep your home comfortable and livable during even the doggiest of dog days:
1. Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning clockwise (to the right)
Ceiling fans have a reverse switch, which allows you to set them to blow downward in summer and draw upward in winter. The breezes they create can be highly refreshing, as long as there are people in the room to enjoy them.
When strategically placed in frequently used living spaces, rightward spinning ceiling fans can reduce air conditioner load by 10-20 percent.
2. Keep your windows open at night.
No matter how hot it might be during the day, when night falls air temperatures will cool substantially, and that can make a dramatic impact inside your home.
To encourage good nighttime air flow, place standing or tabletop fans adjacent to open windows, and align them to create cross currents. For example, if fans are drawing air in through windows on the east side of your home, other fans should be set to blow air out through windows on the west side.
3. Keep blinds closed during the day.
Up to 30 percent of the heat in a home during the day may come through uncovered, sun-facing windows. Light-colored blinds that reflect light are especially efficient at preventing this heat intrusion, which can significantly increase demand on an air conditioner.
To boost the shading effect even further, you should consider installing awnings above windows that face the sun. They will keep sunlight out in the summer but allow its warming penetration in the winter, when the sun drops to a lower altitude.
4. Plant shade trees and other plants outside south-facing windows.
It can take time for deciduous shade trees to grow, but once they do they will do an excellent job of blocking unwanted sunshine in summertime. Of course, those trees will lose their leaves in the winter, which means they won’t prevent the sun from warming your home when you really need it.
If you want something that grows more quickly, you can try planting tall shrubs or climbing vines in front of your windows. They will reduce sun penetration while adding beauty to your landscape.
5. Maximize your air conditioning efficiency.
Some days are so hot you have no choice but to use your air conditioner, possibly around the clock. But how you use it matters a lot.
To get the most performance for the least amount of energy investment, you should keep your thermostat set at 75 during the hours you occupy your home and at 80 when you’re away. Even if it feels a bit uncomfortable at first, you will eventually adjust and feel perfectly comfortable at these temperatures.
Two other steps are vital to ensure maximum air conditioning efficiency. Number one, you should remember to change your AC filter regularly, possibly as often as every six weeks during prime cooling season. A dirty AC filter will put a strain on your air conditioner and cause it to underperform, or even break down completely.
Number two, you should contact your HVAC contractor to schedule an annual pre-cooling-season tune-up and maintenance appointment. Regular maintenance is essential for continued high-efficiency AC functioning, and the professionals are trained to keep your HVAC equipment in supreme working order.
Northern Climate Control is Your Tune-Up and Maintenance Specialist
In the Denver Metro Area, Northern Climate Control offers the very best air conditioner tune-up, maintenance, repair, and installation services. We are fully licensed and insured, and our HVAC technicians are the most highly-skilled and experienced experts in the city.