Ways to Keep Your Home Cool with Minimal AC Use
It’s not hard to see why so many of us spend the entire year looking forward to the arrival of summer. After all, this season is synonymous with gorgeous blue skies, agreeable travel conditions and ample opportunities for adventure. However, as any homeowner can confirm, summertime is also associated with exorbitant utility costs – particularly for people who hail from areas with relentlessly hot summers. Fortunately, reducing your summer cooling costs isn’t quite as daunting as you may think. A little bit of effort and a willingness to embrace new ideas can help get you through the sweltering summer months with minimal AC use and keep your finances intact.
Stay Abreast of the Weather
Even during the incessantly hot summer months, the weather can fluctuate from day to day. Staying abreast of local weather can help you plan your days better and reduce your chances of having to unexpectedly alter your itinerary at the last minute. Keeping current with the weather can also give you a better sense of what days you’ll need to rely on air conditioning versus which days you won’t.
Luckily, getting up-to-date weather reports for any area of the country is now easier than ever. For example, anyone looking to check the weather in Denver can do so with the aid of their favorite weather app or search engine.
While allowing sunlight into your home can provide natural lighting and create fantastic ambiance, it also stands to increase indoor temps, particularly during the summer months. So, if your home is already uncomfortably warm throughout the summer, there’s no sense in making things even hotter. With this in mind, you should take measures to limit the amount of sunlight that’s able to enter your home.
When looking for effective ways to keep sunlight at bay, there are two popular options: blackout curtains and blackout screens. While blackout curtains tend to be a tad costlier than screens, they generally last a lot longer and can help seal in cool air, as well as minimize sunlight. Conversely, while blackout screens aren’t quite as long-lasting or effective as said curtains, they’re very inexpensive – usually no more than $20 – and affordable on virtually any budget. However, when purchasing the stick-on variety, be advised that once they’ve been removed from their respective windows, they can rarely be reapplied.
Invest in High-Quality Ceiling Fans
High-quality ceiling fans can prove tremendously helpful to your home cooling efforts. Installing them in key areas can help increase air circulation and distribute cool air from your AC or outdoors throughout your entire residence.
Additionally, if the temps in your area cool down during the nighttime hours, good ceiling fans can help you take advantage of this. Once the sun sets, you can turn off your AC, open some windows and let your ceiling fans distribute the cool air. Giving your air conditioning a break during the overnight hours is likely to result in a noticeable decrease in utility costs.
Ventilate and Insulate Your Attic
A fair amount of warm air can enter your home through the attic – and a fair amount of cool air can escape through it. As such, you’ll need to tend to your attic on two fronts: insulation and ventilation. For starters, outfitting your attic with proper insulation will make it harder for indoor air to escape and outdoor to enter. Secondly, installing a high-quality attic ventilation fan will help prevent hot air from becoming trapped in the attic and heating up the rest of your home. Keep in mind that your attic is much warmer – around 20 to 30 degrees, to be specific – than the other parts of your residence.
Cooling an entire residence throughout the summer months can be an uphill battle, especially if you’re based in an area that’s known for brutally hot weather. When faced with this challenge, many homeowners simply bite the bullet and crank their air conditioners around the clock, knowing full well this will cost them a small fortune. While AC should certainly be a part of your home cooling arsenal, it shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as your go-to cooling tool, particularly if you’re looking to keep utility costs under control. Putting the previously discussed pointers to good use can help you enjoy a comfortably cool home while giving your AC system – and personal finances – a break.
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