During those hot dog days of summer, you may either find yourself sweating profusely as you try to get comfortable, or slapping your forehead over the utility bill for keeping your home comfortable. So how do you keep your home cool in summer without breaking the bank? Affordable Quality has a few summer cooling tips for your home that may help you feel more comfortable, even when the utility bill arrives.
- Install energy-smart windows and doors. Doors and windows are one of your home’s major “leakers” of outside air temperatures to the indoors. But the new technologies used in the latest models of doors and windows really cut down on the leaking and can better reflect sunlight back outside so that the ambient heat coming in from the windows is a few degrees lower.
- Use sun-blocking drapes, curtains or blinds particularly on west-, south- and east-facing windows. Keep the curtains on the east side closed as the sun goes over in the morning, the west curtains closed in the afternoon until the sun goes down. This can lower the temperature in your home by a lovely few degrees.
- Negotiate with yourself and your family about a thermostat setting that is in the higher range of “comfortable” for as many of you as possible. A lot of people love 72F, but you will save more money if you can inch that up between 75-78 degrees.
- Have a programmable thermostat that can adjust the air conditioner settings for more energy savings at night or while you’re at work or on vacation.
- Crazy but true: a fully-stocked refrigerator will burn less energy in the summer because it won’t lose as much of its cold when you open it as a barely-stocked fridge. Besides, if you have plenty of cold foods and beverages on hand, you can cool yourself that way instead of cranking the air conditioner!
- Another thermostat tip: setting the thermostat to a cooler setting in order to speed the cooling of your house does not work. It will still take time to reach the desired temperature and that strategy burns energy (and therefore money) much faster than you really want it to. Sit down with a cool drink or some gelato and relax.
- Weather stripping helps keep outdoor temperatures outside, both in the summer and the winter. So check the insulation around the AC, garage, attic, etc.
- Here’s one you might not have thought about: placing lamps and other electronic devices that generate heat right next to the thermostat will make the thermostat think it has to keep working longer than it actually does, which will cost you more money. Move those things away from the thermostat.
- Use room and ceiling fans to keep the air moving in rooms that you are using. Although you still have to burn electricity to run a fan, it’s generally less energy than running the air conditioner longer or colder to achieve the desired comfort temperature.
The Affordable Quality team can give you even more summer cooling tips for your home, based on your individual home’s circumstances. Just give us a call at (703) 794-8513 to learn more!