The weather this weekend is supposed to hit the 90s, and boy can your home get hot. Here are some simple tips to make the temperature in your home a bit more bearable:
1. Reduce the work your air conditioner has to do. Reduce the cooling load by employing cost-effective conservation measures. For windows facing the east and west, make sure to close the blinds/curtains to keep out sunlight (covering all windows is even better!). If you don’t have blinds or curtains, consider installing them. The cost for new shades is low, yet the privacy and reduction in energy costs is a huge benefit. Installing awnings over windows can also improve efficiency and reduce energy costs. Also, try to avoid running appliances that generate heat, such as ovens, dishwashers, dryers, etc. If need be, run these appliances at night.
2. Keep windows and doors shut during the day, so the colder air can’t escape and humidity can’t come in. This is especially important if you have your AC on. Do open your windows at night however to get some ventilation and fresh air. If the temperature of the air outside your home is 77 F or lower, it generally makes sense to ventilate your home. Try using a window fan to get good results. In addition, keep interior doors in your home open, so the air can flow freely.
3. Use ceiling fans to increase your comfort level. Research shows that most people are comfortable during summer in light clothing when the temperature is between 72 F and 78 F. With a breeze, people will stay comfortable up to around 82 F. The breeze needs to be about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph . Set your thermostat at 78 degrees F or higher. If using ceiling fans, try placing it at 82 F. Also, avoid air-conditioning unused rooms.
4. Thinking forward to future summers, plant trees that create share around your house. Planting trees on the South should be avoided if you want to some “passive solar heating” during winter.
5. Consider serving and/or replacing your air conditioner/air conditioner parts if it’s getting pretty old. Newer models/parts are much more efficient, and may actually save you money in the long run vs doing nothing. If you do decide to replace your entire air conditioning unit, make sure that it is properly sized. Get opinions from several contractors on what size unit, brand, model, and efficiency works best for your home. Place your AC in a shaded area, by doing so you can improve the A/C efficiency by 5 percent to 10 percent. Also, be sure to maintain your air conditioners properly so they run for years to come and at top efficiency. Clean the filters every month when the AC is in use.
6. Avoid using a dehumidifier at the same time as your air conditioner is operating. Dehumidifiers will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
7. Get an energy audit of your home to see where your home can improve on efficiency. Easy fixes include sealing and insulating all air conditioner ducts that are easily accessible, such as those that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
8. Consider replacing your old inefficient windows. If you live in an older home, it may be worth the cost to replace the windows. New windows offer numerous gases (such as Argon and Krypton) that can be placed between panes that have lower conductivity than air, which boost R-values and increase energy efficiency. Manufactures can also apply low-e films to boost the efficiency of windows even more. If you aren’t replacing your windows, you can buy low-e film and easily apply it yourself.
If you’re ready to move up to a brand new home by American Classic Homes, check out our website at AmericanClassicHomes.com for current inventory, or give our listing agent, Thuan Howard, a call at 425.445.3252.