Winter has come and gone, spring has sprung, and Arizonians now brace themselves for the 6 months of three digit summer heat that has already arrived. By now everyone should have had a 16-point AC unit inspection, had the house evaluated for energy efficiency, had radiant barriers installed, and now have nothing left to do but wait for the heat to hit us – right?
Not necessarily. Keeping the house cool in the summertime without having our AC system constantly running is an art that can be tricky to master. We all want to be comfortable and take refuge from the heat in a cool house, but we also don’t want the utility bills to be sky-high. Read on to learn a few tips about how to keep your home cool during the summer without even having to touch your air conditioning system.
In the summer, 80% of the heat that enters your home comes in through the attic. It works like this: the constant downpour of sun on your roof heats it to extremely high temperatures, that heat is then transferred into the ceiling. If your home already has a radiant barrier installed, you are one step closer to a cooler house. See, radiant barriers are installed on your roof or inside your attic and reflect the suns heat away from your home. They work together with insulation because insulation is used to block the heat that gets past the radiant barrier, like a back-up defense. Without the proper amount of insulation, the heat from the ceiling is transferred down into your home and heats up every room in your house.
The professionals at Cooper Climate Control offer several different ways to install insulation in your home and will make sure you have the correct amount for the upcoming summer. By tackling the area of your home that absorbs the most heat now, you are guaranteeing your home to be cooler for the summer when it really counts.
The importance of windows and blinds
Installing heavy blinds that will completely cover all windows and keeping them closed during the day will block out the sun and keep the heat out. To take it a step further, installing white window shades, drapes, or blinds will keep your house even cooler because the white reflects heat away from your house. When nighttime comes, do the exact opposite and open all blinds and shades to allow the cool night air to enter your home. Try opening a few windows also to let the breeze in. The breeze, along with ceiling fans will keep your home cool and comfortable while you sleep.
Pay attention to the little things
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or compact fluorescents. Incandescent bulbs throw out a lot of heat and they also use a lot of electricity. The newer more energy efficient bulbs consume less energy and run much cooler.
Avoid using heavy appliances during the day. The dishwasher and oven give off a lot of heat while in use. Try air-drying dishes and using a toaster oven or microwave instead during the day because they put off a fraction of the heat that a regular oven does.
Place a bucket of ice or an ice pack in front of a plug -in fan. The fan will blow air past the ice, producing cool air instead of normal room temperature air. It can make a huge difference!
Reverse your ceiling fans. If your ceiling fan is electric, you should be able to reverse the direction that it spins. If you change it to run counter-clockwise it will pull hot air up towards the ceiling. Most fans have a reverse switch that lets you easily make the change.
Plant large trees and bushes on the outside of your windows, especially the ones on the south and west side of your home. This will block the heat and help provide shade directly outside your home that will keep your house cooler.
If you have rooms that are not being used, like guest bedrooms and bathrooms, make sure to close the air vents that are inside. By closing certain vents, you are allowing more air to flow into the rooms that are constantly in use.
Try taking showers and keep hot baths to a minimum. Hot baths release hot air and will make the temperature in your home rise. You can also try lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater to 115 degrees. It is hot enough to still enjoy hot showers and to wash dishes, but not too hot that it will heat up your home.
Turn off all electrical items like your TV and computer when not in use. All electrical items produce heat while on, and keeping them off when they are not in use will help keep your home temperature pleasant.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to help keep your home cooler in the summer time without using your AC unit. By following even a few of these tips, you will see great changes with the comfort of your home as well as saving money on your monthly electric bills!