Itís Gettiní Hot in Here! Tips for Keeping Cool This Summer|
With summer upon us and temperatures on the rise, most of us start seeking out retreats from the heat. While you may not be able to do anything about the heat outside, you can do something about staying cool and comfortable in your own home. With some simple tips youíll find the best ways to stay cool this summer and save money on your energy bill at the same time.
As temperatures rise this summer, follow these tips to keep cool.
Donít get stuck in†the unpleasant predicament of having your air-conditioner go on the fritz on a hottest day of summer. Like any major household appliances, air-conditioners need regular maintenance to work efficiently.
- Hire a contractor to service your HVAC unit annually prior to use to ensure that everything is in proper working order.
- Make sure that ducts in your air-conditioning system are properly sealed and insulated, especially with those which pass through the attic or other uncooled spaces. Effective caulking and weather stripping will help keep the cool air from escaping from your house.
- During the summer months, be sure to clean or replace your air filters monthly to keep things running efficiently. Dirty or clogged filters block normal air flow and wonít allow the system to function properly. Some units have replaceable filters, while others you can just clean off by brushing off the lint and then rinsing in soapy water, so check to see which type of unit you have.
- Keeping the areas surrounding your outdoor condenser unit free of dirt and debris will help keep the area open for air flow and avoid dirt getting into the coils to keep the unit.
Other Ways to Cool Your Home
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 90 percent of new single-family homes currently are built with air-conditioning systems, while just 30 years ago, fewer than half of new homes had this luxury. Whether your home has air-conditioning or not, consider these alternative ways to keep your home cooler in the summer:†
- Installing ceiling mounted fans can help circulate the cool air throughout your house.
- Whole House fans are another option to think about depending on the climate where you reside. These devices lower the inside temperature of the home by pulling air through open windows and exhausting it through the attic and roof. Using these in place of air-conditioning units can reduce the amount of energy used and lower your bill significantly.
- Putting awnings over windows or closing the blinds during the heat of the day will help to keep the inside of your home cooler.
- To maximize cooling, the outdoor air-conditioning unit should be shaded from the sun. Trees, shrubs or awnings may be used to provide shade, however they should be kept about two feet away from the unit to allow for air to escape properly.
Energy Saving Tips
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 56 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. Minor changes around the house can help cut energy costs:
- Using a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your air conditioning settings at night or when no one is home can save you about $150 every year in energy costs. If you donít have a programmable thermostat, just manually change the temperature settings to a higher temperature before you leave the house.
- Not only can landscaping help make your home and yard look its best, but it can also help you lower your summer energy bills. Planting trees around your home can help provide additional shade around your home and prevent your air-conditioning unit from having to work as hard to cool the home.
- Donít place lamps or televisions near your thermostat as these items give off heat and will cause the air-conditioner to run longer.
- If you are in the market to buy a new air conditioning unit, consider purchasing an ENERGY-STAR which can save up to 20 percent on cooling costs.
Is your house good at keeping cool? Take this†quick quiz, and see if your home makes the grade!
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