A Few Simple Ideas To Keep Your Home Cooler This Summer
There's no need for me to reiterate what we all already know. The past week was a total scorcher outside! If you are like most people, you are probably lamenting the dying lawn, the incessant A/C running, and the feeling of summer "cabin fever." Rest assured, it will pass, but not after we spend a bit more time boiling over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, here are a few tips and ideas of ways to help survive the heat wave, and maybe even save a little energy in your home as well.
- Make sure your home is sealed: While a home energy audit would likely reveal a large amount of spots where air is infiltrating, you can always take care of the obvious ones.Start by closing all storm windows. Then make sure the window seals are intact, and check the weatherstripping around your doors. The larger areas to seal up are attic fans, chimneys, and around vents to the outside.
- Keep shades closed: Simply closing the window shades to block the sun will aid in reducing the solar heat gain of the home.
- Use the barbecue grill: Rather than baking or cooking on the stovetop inside, try grilling more and keeping the cooking heat outside of the house.
- Bake less and more: Yes, it sounds strange, but baking less often and consolidating the items you want to bake all together might mean turning on the oven one less time per week. That can mean a lot for indoor comfort.
- Turn off lights: Indoor lighting emits heat, and some lighting more than others (i.e. halogen). Try to turn off lights when not using that space, and even better, use CFL's where possible to amplify the savings.
- Smart thermostats help: Digital programmable thermostats, and smart thermostats like the "Nest" can help to adjust the temperature of the home for maximum comfort and efficiency. This can be a helpful upgrade.
- Keep the fans running: Ceiling fans have a great benefit of making rooms feel on average 5º cooler! Fans do have "summer" and "winter" settings, so for the summer months you should feel the air movement directly downward from the blades. If not, change the switch on the fan motor and check again.
If these tips don't help and the house is still uncomfortably hot, I suggest consulting with a home performance contractor to evaluate your situation. As another option, abandoning the inside and running through a sprinker in the yard is a good bet for a hot day!