When it’s 90 degrees outside in 90% humidity, your air conditioner works hard to keep your home comfortable. If you’re concerned about your energy costs, there are a few things you can do. These tips to stay cool will take some of the strain off your air conditioner all while keeping you comfortable during the hottest parts of the year.
#1 – Resolve Air Leaks
Leaky windows and doors can account for the loss of up to 30% of your cooled air, which can drive up your energy costs significantly. One of the best tips to stay cool this summer involves inspecting your doors and windows for leaks, then taking the appropriate measures to seal them. You can do this on your own or you can contact a professional. Either way, the savings will start adding up immediately, and your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep you comfortable.
#2 – Use Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are more than just decorative pieces. In fact, when used properly, they can reduce the temperature of a room by several degrees. In the summer, make sure your ceiling fan is set to blow air straight downward. You can do this by setting the blades to spin in a counter-clockwise direction. If it’s especially warm outside, turn up the speed of the fan so it can move a larger volume of air. Essentially, this helps to distribute cooled air more evenly throughout the room by removing the pocket of hot air near the ceiling.
#3 – Close Blinds and Shades
While you don’t have to keep every shade, curtain, drape, and blind in your home closed all day long, this is one of the best and most important tips to stay cool. Sunlight streaming through a window can cause the temperature of a room to rise by 10 degrees or more, which puts added strain on your air conditioner. Each day, close the blinds and curtains accordingly so that your home isn’t absorbing the hot energy from the sun. Better still, invest in some insulating drapes blinds that will reflect the sunlight back out into the environment.
#4 – Change Airflow According to Your Needs
In most homes with traditional central air conditioning, each room will have one or more vents that you can adjust to control the amount of cooled air coming into that room. Sometimes, improving the efficiency of your air conditioner is about adjusting the airflow accordingly based on the size of the room and its use. For example, if you have a small utility room that you rarely use, consider closing the vent most of the way. This way, the space isn’t being filled with cooled air, and that air can be redirected elsewhere in your home.
#5 – Wait Until Dark to Use Heat-Generating Appliances
Many of the appliances you rely on each day generate a substantial amount of heat, and this can cause the temperatures in your home to skyrocket. Of all the tips to keep cool, this one is by far the most important: wait until dark to use heat-generating appliances whenever possible. For example, if you’ll need to roast something in the oven for several hours, consider waiting until late evening to prepare the next day’s meal. This way, you aren’t adding extra heat to your home that your air conditioner must remove. Along those same lines, avoid using clothes dryers during the hottest parts of the day; instead, use the sun’s heat to your advantage and consider hanging your clothes on a clothesline, instead.
These five tips to keep cool this summer may surprise you when you find out just how well they work. Helping your air conditioner work more efficiently is sometimes about preventing the buildup of excess heat in the first place. Using ceiling fans to distribute air, avoiding heat-generating appliances, and blocking sunlight at the source can all help.