No matter where you live, summer months can bring oppressive heat. Staying comfortable in your home while trying to stay on a budget can be a challenge. But you’ve got to find ways to beat the summertime heat in your home. Here are a few ideas that may help you stay cooler in the summer.
Energy efficient air conditioning
If you’re running a HVAC unit that is more than 15 years old, it’s likely it’s not going to be as efficient as it could be. Replacing the unit is not an inexpensive proposition. You will probably have to finance air conditioning installation but there are some systems that are cheaper than others. If you already have central air conditioning, replacing the outside unit is probably the best idea. Your home already has the ducts run and is built for simply changing out the unit with a more efficient one.
If you’re home does not have central air already installed, you probably use window unit air. You can change out those units with a ductless mini split system will give you specific room control. These systems are more expensive than a window unit but will also provide heat as well. Think beyond what you traditionally consider for cooling your home as new technology is happening all the time.
Add some fans
Did you know that a fan doesn’t actually change the temperature of your house? I always thought running a fan; ceiling or otherwise, in every room was really important in terms of saving energy. Turns out, I was misinformed. What a fan does do is to make you feel cooler by the wind-chill effect. You are literally creating your own wind-chill. You evaporate sweat from your skin by the movement of the air. This, in turn, eliminates body heat.
Because your body feels cooler while using a fan in the room you occupy, you can then raise the temperature of your thermostat. Setting your thermostat to 78 degrees can save 5-15% on your average electric bill. So basically, you can raise your thermostat a couple of degrees by using a fan and not really feel the difference. Now, don’t get me wrong, this only applies to the room you’re in at the time. This is one reason, we have fans in every room of our house.
This same scenario applies in the winter as well. You just need to reverse the direction the fan blades turn. As you know, heat rises and by reversing the direction of the rotation of the blades of your fan, you send this warm air back down. The Energy Department suggests setting your winter thermostat to 68 degrees.
Installing a fan in your bedroom is ideal. There are loads of great options available, but the best bedroom fans are standing ones that don’t make a huge amount of noise. You can program them to turn on for a specific period, cooling you down as you sleep.
Be sure your windows are sealed properly. If they are allowing hot air into your home, it will be impossible for your house to not overheat. Plus your air conditioner will be running all of the time to try to combat the addition of hot air. This will drive your electric bills through the roof. Seal any leaks your may discover and be sure you have tight closure. You may want to add black out curtains to stop the UV rays from heating the room as well.