Ahh! summertime! Good times! Barbecue, vacation, pool time, other fun in the sun. Of course, summer months are also known for hot temperatures that make a foot of snow sound like a relief. Fortunately, there are ways to increase home comfort during the warmer months without running the A/C wide open 24/7 until fall weather returns. Whether you’re motivated by savings on sky-high cooling costs, or increasing energy-efficiency for environmental goals, or both, here are some tips for keeping cool in summer without A/C:
Open Doors and Windows during Cool Hours
Mornings and evenings are typically cooler periods of the day during the hottest months in any climate region. During the cooler hours of the day and evening, instead of running the A/C, open as many windows and doors as necessary to allow air to flow into your house. This habit can go a long way to help you better control your interior air temperatures without skyrocketing energy costs throughout the summer.
Add Blinds, Shutters, Drapes, or Other Window Treatments
Direct sunlight coming through windows and glass doors into homes with large areas of western or even eastern exposure can be a source of extreme amounts of heat. It can cause your HVAC equipment to work overtime, and it can put a serious strain on an older or less powerful system. It can also make it difficult to cool living spaces sufficiently, and it can lead to extremely high energy bills. Simply closing blinds during the hours of strongest direct sunlight coming through the exterior glass surfaces can make a big difference in controlling interior comfort and lowering costs. Room darkening blinds or curtains work even better for these purposes.
Dehumidify Moist Air in Your House
A high temperature is one thing. High humidity is another. Combine the two inside your house, and you’ll have an uncomfortable place to live. Keeping humidity low makes summer temperatures feel lower inside your home and much more comfortable than in more humid areas. Even in climates that are notorious for humid conditions, you can enjoy living in a low-humidity environment by simply buying a dehumidifier. During the hottest hours of the day, close windows, turn on the dehumidifier and use fans to keep the air inside your home drier and cooler.
Reduce Use of Heat-Producing Appliances
The kitchen stove burners, oven, coffee maker, and toaster, and the clothes dryer, hairdryer, and other heat-generating appliances, large and small, contribute to increasing the temperature in your home. Running these appliances during the hottest hours of the day can make living spaces more uncomfortable. Find alternatives to using these appliances during peak heat periods of summer days. For example, grill outdoors, adjust menus to avoid long cooking times, and do laundry after dinner, to reduce heat generation in your house until evening hours when outside temperatures are lower.
Generate an Interior Cross-Breeze
On sweltering hot days, indoor air needs a means of circulation to help it move through your home and create a cooling indoor breeze. For optimum airflow that can help cool living spaces, use a little strategic arrangement of window and door openings, instead of just opening some windows. Open the windows on the end of your home facing prevailing breezes and at the opposite end of your home. Open exterior doors and interior doors between rooms to enable free flow of air throughout the house. Experiment as necessary to find an arrangement of open doors and windows that creates the strongest cooling cross breeze inside, drawing fresh air through the house and forcing hot air out.
Make the Most Of Fans throughout the House
If you’re not a fan of high electric bills, buy a fan. Buy multiple fans. You may find that you can create a very comfortable indoor environment with the air conditioning turned off during most or all of the summer. Position fans at higher and lower levels, to drive air upward and downward and in various directions. Be sure to use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to draw hot air from cooking and showering out of the house as the heat is being generated. For best results, combine the use of fans with other suggested home cooling alternatives on this list.
Replace Windows and Doors with Energy-Efficient Models
The most effective solution for reducing indoor heat during high outdoor temperatures and retaining heat during cold winter months is replacing old windows and doors with energy-efficient models. If your electricity bills are too high and your home is still difficult to cool and heat, you can save money over time by investing in high-performance windows and doors to eliminate air leaks and to take advantage of the insular quality of state-of-the-art energy-efficient home windows and doors. Upgrading to the best replacement windows and doors for your home can increase your comfort, energy cost savings, and your property values.
Add Shade to the Exterior Side of Windows
Creating shade outside, above, and in front of windows that receive direct sun exposure can do wonders to reduce heat inside your home during the summer months and cut cooling costs. Add wood or canvas awnings over windows for an aesthetic style benefit, or add adhesive window tinting films designed to filter incoming sunlight and reduce heat from it. Or, plant shade trees outside highly exposed glass doors or windows. Using one or all of these solutions to block or filter sunlight from the outside can be a game-changer for home comfort, and you can avoid the need to add unwanted window treatments inside.
Remember to Stay Hydrated and Use Ice Frequently
Of course, the point is to be cool and comfortable in your home during the hottest temperatures of the year. An often overlooked approach is to keep the body cool by simply drinking plenty of cold fluids. Even in hot weather, an icy beverage goes a long way to refresh the body and improve comfort. Remember to drink kinds of fluids that are best for hydrating, like water, juices, and sports beverages, vs. high-sodium colas, or caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages.
Do It All!
For maximum energy savings and comfort during the summer months, use as many of these methods as possible inside your home. Over the course of a summer, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised at how much you have reduced your air conditioning use and your energy cost while increasing home comfort. Plus, you can congratulate yourself on cutting the amount of wear and tear on your HVAC system and lengthening the equipment life.
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For a free in-home quote with zero pressure to purchase, call The Energy Shield Window & Door Company LLC, Phoenix, AZ, or use our online request for contact.