Summer is here, and with it a spike in temperature. For many people this is an absolute blessing. It’s the chance to shed clothes and head to the closest beach or pool, to work on a tan and eat ice cream purchased out of a truck with a ringing bell. For others, the heat is an absolute nightmare. If you hate to sweat, or find yourself stuck inside for most of the summer dealing with stifling temperatures with no relief in sight you’re probably counting the days until fall comes around. But cooling your home doesn’t have to mean a huge spike in your utility bill. Here are five ways to prepare your home for hot summer temperatures.
First of all, consider installing ceiling fans in the rooms you use most often. A ceiling fan is one of the greenest ways to cool your home. It moves the stale air around, funneling cooler, fresher air from the open windows through the space. A modern ceiling fan also doesn’t take a lot of energy to run, so it will be way less expensive than central air conditioning. Natural breeze is also better for your lungs, and will keep the air quality from stagnating in your home. And it’s an easy installation to handle yourself, so you won’t have to pay some contractor to do the work.
You might also want to look at switching out your window treatments. The bright sunlight of a summer’s day is surely beautiful, but it also heats your home up quickly. One of the best ways to lower the internal temperature is to keep that sunlight from flowing into the house. So invest in blackout shades for the rooms that face direct sunlight. They’re not the most attractive things in the world, but you can dress them up with side curtains. Keep them lowered at least half way during the day and you’ll notice a significant decrease in the temperature.
Of course there are times when air conditioning is the only thing that will make a difference. So you have to make sure that your air conditioners are up to the challenge. Clean each unit at the beginning of the season, and switch out the air filters as well. If the filters are left too long they clog with dirt and debris, which will block the flow of cool air. That also makes the unit’s motor work too hard, which could lead to a premature end for an expensive appliance. You might want to consider having this done professionally if you have central air conditioning and ductwork that you can’t reach yourself.
This tip will take a bit more effort, but consider replacing the insulation in your attic. Modern insulation is made to be far more heat resistant than the older substances, which means less heat coming through your attic and down into the rest of the house. Your roof might well be sitting in direct sunlight for most of the day, and it’s going to get awfully hot up there. While you’re switching out the insulation, make sure that your roofing tiles have the proper ventilation. Without the right air flow, you’ll notice rising temperatures you won’t be able to regulate.
Finally, head out onto your property and see if you can cool your home through landscaping choices. Note the direction the sunlight travels, and plant shrubs and trees that offer shade for your roof. This won’t necessarily make up for air conditioner compressor issues, but it will make things easier for your A/C unit. You can also place greenery so it shades your windows, which will further cut down the heat that’s traveling into your home.