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As summer arrives, it’s time to prepare for the scorching heat and ensure your home remains cool and comfortable. Here are 20 expert tips on how to keep your house cool during summer, reduce energy bills, and make your home more energy-efficient.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
These smart devices allow you to set automatic temperature controls for maximum comfort and energy efficiency as an alternative to air conditioning during hot months. Keep temperatures higher when your family isn’t home to save on costs.
2. Replace your Air Filter Regularly
Your HVAC system’s air filter gets more use during the summer, so check it every 30 days and replace it when necessary.
3. Practice Smart Landscaping
Strategically planting shrubs and leafy trees near your home’s windows can prevent excess heat from entering your home.
4. Install Exterior Window Coverings
If you can’t use nature to your advantage, adding awnings or screen shades to your windows’ exterior side can help protect against heat transfer.
5. Update Your Home’s Insulation
Pay attention to your attic and the levels between your home’s conditioned and unconditioned spaces. Consider adding extra insulation or contacting a professional for proper installation and removal.
6. Use Smart Door Techniques
When the air conditioner is running, keep doors and windows closed to prevent energy loss. Minimize unnecessary trips in and out of the house to keep energy bills low.
7. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
Refrigerators can consume a surprising amount of energy when they’re not operating efficiently. Dust off and clean your refrigerator’s condensing coils for better performance.
8. Install Ceiling Fans in High-Traffic Rooms
Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect by circulating air, making the room feel cooler. Ensure your fans are turning counter-clockwise for optimal results.
9. Seal Air Leaks
Check the stripping and caulking around doors and windows, and replace where needed to prevent cooled air from escaping.
10. Consult With Professionals
Schedule a professional energy assessment to identify the best energy-saving techniques for your home and learn about available rebates and discounts for upgrades.
11. Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs that emit less heat.
12. Close Curtains or Blinds During the Day
Block sunlight and heat by closing curtains or blinds, especially on south and west-facing windows.
13. Cook Outside or Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Avoid using the oven or stove, which generates heat, and opt for grilling outside or using a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or microwave instead.
14. Ventilate Your Home at Night
Open windows and doors to let cool air in during the cooler hours of the evening and early morning.
15. Place Portable Fans Strategically
Use portable fans to direct cool air towards living areas or to pull hot air out of the room.
16. Insulate Hot Water Pipes and Ducts
Insulating hot water pipes and ducts can prevent heat from being absorbed by surrounding areas, reducing the need for additional cooling.
17. Set Your Water Heater to a Lower Temperature
Lowering your water heater’s temperature can save energy and reduce heat output.
18. Use Light-Colored Roofing Materials
Light-colored roofing materials can reflect sunlight and help keep your home cooler.
19. Install a Cool Roof
Consider installing a cool roof, which has a reflective surface designed to minimize heat absorption and improve energy efficiency.
20. Create Shade with Outdoor Structures
Use pergolas, trellises, or shade sails to create shaded areas around your home, reducing heat absorption.
21. Opt for Lighter-Colored Interior Furnishings and Décor
Lighter colors reflect sunlight and heat, while darker colors absorb it. Choosing lighter-colored furniture, curtains, and wall paint can help keep your rooms cooler.
22. Hang a Wet Sheet in Front of an Open Window
Dampen a sheet and hang it in front of an open window to create a natural evaporative cooling effect, as the breeze passes through the wet fabric and cools the room.
23. Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity can make a room feel hotter than it is. Using a dehumidifier can help maintain a more comfortable indoor temperature by removing excess moisture from the air.
24. Apply Window Film
Installing reflective or heat-blocking window film can help reduce solar heat gain and keep your home cooler.
25. Create a Cross Breeze
Open windows and doors on opposite sides of your home to create a cross breeze that can help cool down your living space.
26. Sleep with Breathable Bedding
Opt for lightweight, breathable bedding made from natural materials like cotton or linen to stay cooler during the night.
27. Dress Appropriately
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics to stay cooler indoors.
28. Turn Off Electronics When Not in Use
Electronics generate heat when they’re on, so turn off devices when they’re not in use to reduce the heat they produce.
29. Install a Whole-House Fan
Whole-house fans draw cool air in through open windows and push hot air out through vents in the attic, cooling your home more efficiently than air conditioning.
30. Maintain Your Air Conditioning System
Regularly clean and maintain your air conditioning system to ensure it’s running efficiently and effectively. Schedule professional maintenance at least once a year.
By implementing these tips, you can keep your house cool during the summer, lower energy bills, and enjoy a more comfortable living environment. With a combination of smart home upgrades, energy-efficient practices, and strategic cooling techniques, you can make your home a cool oasis during those hot summer months.