Living in Florida, it’s certain that your air conditioning is working overtime right about now. With temperatures in the 90s and “feels like” temps in the 100s, you are probably already sweating most of the time, as well as seeing a sharp increase in your electric bill. The dog days of summer are upon us and so is the humidity. So, what can you do to help get and keep your home cool? Here are some great hacks and more significant renovation projects that you can consider to help cool your house in the summer.
Simple Chillin’ Tips:
- There are many items in your house that emit heat. Electronic devices such as computers, televisions and even your phone when plugged in will cause an increase in temperature. You can unplug these items when not in use. Do your clothes-drying at night and try cooking more outdoors on a grill. These things may not sound like they’d make much impact, but each change you make contributes to lessening the amount of heat in your home.
- Choose LED bulbs and natural light, as much as possible. Although LED bulbs may cost more, they conduct less heat and are more energy-efficient. Your utility company may have a rebate for using this type of lighting, and the savings on your bill could be well worth the investment. Of course, turning off lights that are not in use also works in your benefit.
- Using ceiling fans can help but only if your fan switch is set in the right position. In the summer, ceiling fans should circulate counter-clockwise to push cool air down to the floor.
- Caulking and insulating around doors and windows can keep valuable cool air from escaping and hot air from getting in. You can also consider putting window tint on areas where the sun is strongest or install awnings to create shade.
- All vents in your house should be open at all times and interior doors left open, as well. This helps to circulate and evenly distribute cold air.
- Change your air conditioner filter, frequently. Many a/c companies also recommend pouring bleach in the access opening in the drain line of your a/c. This can be done each time you change the filter. Ideally, you should put bleach in the line once-a-month and change your filter at least once every three months.
- Keep blinds, shades or drapes closed during the hottest part of the day, especially in places where the sun is directly shining through a window.
More Impactful Changes to Cool Your Home in Summer:
- Replacing old or broken windows and doors is an effective way to keep your house cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Using low-e, energy-efficient glass / argon gas glass, double-paned and vinyl windows not only help you cool your home and conserve energy but can also improve the look and feel of your home and add home value. HomeRite Windows and Doors can provide you with some amazing choices at an affordable price.
- Get your air conditioner serviced or replaced. If your unit is older than 10-15 years, you may want to consider replacing it. The cost to replace is high, but in the long run, it can save you significant money on your electric bill and potentially, on costly repairs. The heat and humidity is so bad in Florida, that our a/c units require more attention than most other parts of the country.
- Choosing a programmable thermostat or a remote one is a great way to control your temperature, as well as your utility bill. Again, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
- Properly insulating your walls and attic is key to holding in cooler air and blocking heat. Check to see what kind of insulation you have. Replace or supplement it, if it isn’t adequate.
- Large trees or shrubs are an excellent source to block heat. Planting them near windows may be helpful in cooling your space. This addition also adds nice aesthetics to the outside of your home.