10 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer
It’s tough to take it easy in the summer when you’re too hot to relax! Some parts of the country experience near triple digits before the first calendar day of summer even arrives. Does your air conditioner use skyrocket during the summer? Have you thought of ways to lower these costs but still keep your home cool on blistering hot days? Here are 10 helpful tips to keep your home as cool as possible this summer.
1. Air conditioners- Friend or Enemy?
Instead of wondering how long you can wait until you crank up the AC, you might want to ask yourself: “Is the air conditioner really the most cost-efficient way to survive the heat?” One thing you can do with the air conditioner is to set the thermostat slightly higher than the temperature you want. (For example, if you want your house to be 72, set it for 77 or 78.) The air conditioner will do some of the work, but combining this with some home improvement techniques can save you some real money!
2. Appropriate landscaping
As you probably already know, in the summer the sun is beaming into your house from the south, or the north if you’re south of the equator. It would be wise to have shade on this side of your house. This way, the sun warms your home in the winter while its rays are filtered in the summer. Planting trees and other tall plants can help reduce the heat entering your home.
3. Light-Colored Roofing
You wouldn’t think that the color of your shirt or the color of your roof would affect the sun’s heat, would you? It turns out it does. Darker surfaces absorb more of the sun’s rays, increasing heat. Painting your roof a light color, such as white, can help keep your home cooler. Make sure you hire the appropriate contractor for the job. If you decide to DIY, be sure that you stay hydrated and as cool as possible.
4. Replacement Steel Doors
Even with air conditioning and shade, your house can lose its cool through air leaks! One way to fix this problem is to have a more efficient entry door installed. ENERGY STAR rated energy efficient steel front entry doors help lock in that perfect temperature and eliminate leaks. They come equipped with a bulb and sweep to help eliminate drafts. Besides all of this air-locking magic, these doors are easy on the eyes and can be customized to your tastes.
5. Replacement Vinyl Windows
Much like doors, windows are not always the most secure, energy-efficient part of your home. Installing brand new vinyl replacement windows can help change that. They are energy efficient, easy to clean, insulated, can be customized, and, even more important, they have triple weatherstripping at all of the sealing locations. Keep your cold air where it belongs: indoors!
In the summer, the sun’s rays penetrate through your windows and heat up your house. The easiest way to minimize that is to keep your blinds closed. You can also use outdoor blinds or shutters to maximize the effect. There are also other alternatives to blinds for blocking the sun, such as sunscreens or reflective materials you can put on the outsides of your windows. These greatly reduce, if not eliminate that oven effect we all dread.
7. Vinyl Siding
Your siding can be a huge help when it comes to insulation! Consider ENERGY STAR rated vinyl siding. It will help insulate your entire house’s exterior and save you money on your energy bill. Having this beautiful brand new siding will help seal 80 percent of your house’s cold air, saving energy and money on running that air conditioner!
8. Light Bulbs – The Unexpected Heat Source
Once your home is insulated on the outside, you can reduce the heat sources inside your home. Most people would not expect it but the average light bulb emits an amazing amount of heat! Don’t believe me? At an all-you-can-eat buffet, what is the food kept warm with? Lights. If you need your lights on, especially for businesses, then replace your lights with energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFLs for short. These will reduce your energy usage, your bill, and most importantly your temperature!
9. Turn Off Unnecessary Electronics
Electronics are huge heat sources, not to mention energy-suckers. It would behoove you to turn off the unnecessary electronics because if you don’t need them, why use them? If you are downstairs, turn off everything upstairs. Electronics such as laptops, desktop computers, game consoles, and TVs all have cooling systems built in. The fans are constantly running so that this piece of equipment does not overheat and break. Well, these fans are like mini heaters to your house! That heat from the Xbox, TV, or computer has to go somewhere! Turn them off if you aren’t using them.
10. Fix Any Other Holes You Find
I would suggest grabbing a flashlight and heading to the attic first. Walk around the attic, especially on the edges, and look for holes in the walls and ceilings. Look for holes and any other openings you can find. Do the same in your basement. Whenever you find them, plug them up! Caulking will do the job in most cases.