While the summer brings time for fun in the sun, it also brings hot weather that can leave you sweating, even inside your home. Even if you have great air conditioning, you don’t want to pay through the nose on your energy bill because it’s constantly running. The solution? Summer-proofing your home for the hot weather just like you winterize it to deal with the harsh cold.
Here are some tips on preparing your home for summer so you can stay cool and keep your bills from rising like the temperature outside.
We’re all guilty of leaving things until the last minute sometimes but testing that your air conditioner is working properly is something you really shouldn’t put off too long. If it turns out that something is wrong, you don’t want to find that out when the heat is already blistering. You’ll be stuck without air conditioning for days or longer while the problem is remedied and it’s preferable to have that downtime now before you actually need the cold air.
Don’t forget to replace or clean the filter as needed, too. The general recommended life of a filter is only 90 days so bear that in mind. Clogged air filters can greatly decrease how efficient your air conditioning is. That increases costs and decreases the cooling ability of the unit.
Much of the focus on cooling off your home in the summer will logically be on air conditioning but fans can be very useful, too. Both ceiling fans and standard fans can make a big difference in how cool a room feels.
Ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air downward and circulate it throughout the room. The ideal placement of standard fans in a room is to have two situated across from each other, both blowing at a different open window. This will produce a cross draft that will effectively cool down the room.
Since you do not want to let cold air escape through cracks and openings, replacing windows can be a good idea before the hottest summer months. Older windows can let more hot air into your home and let more cold air out than energy-efficient windows.
If it’s within your budget to do so, you should consider replacing older windows but if not, you can get a similar benefit by installing Low-E film (a coated plastic film) over the windows to counteract UV rays.
As much as natural light is lovely and comforting, it can also bring a lot of unnecessary heat into your home in the summer. By pulling your blinds closed during the warmest hours of the day, particularly the ones that face west or south, you can keep out some of that heat.
There are even some special cooling curtains known as blackout curtains or thermal curtains that can help significantly. They insulate your house from the rays of sun which hit the window. Installing these curtains over any window that consistently gets direct sunlight can cool the room and make your air conditioning’s job easier.
Most people think of insulation in terms of keeping the cold weather out in the winter months but it’s equally important for keeping the cool air from your air conditioning inside the house. Without it, your air conditioning is just going to be trying to cool off the outdoors, too.
There are some areas of the house in particular that you should focus on if you’re going to beef up your insulation for summer. First, there’s the attic. Heat can accumulate in the attic through holes that let hot air in which is a problem you’ll want to address as soon as possible. Likewise, the basement is an area that can need checking up on due to the high humidity. Finally, heat can also sneak in through under-insulated exterior walls so it’s important to insulate them well, too.
If you try some or all of these tips and still worry that you’re not getting the most out of your efforts to cool your home, consider getting a home energy audit. In these audits, a professional will come to your home and examine it. Then, they’ll determine what upgrades you need and advise you on how to proceed.
Like with testing your air conditioning, it’s ideal to get a home energy audit before the summer heat arrives so don’t hesitate if it’s something you might be interested in.
Don’t let the summer heat get you down. With these insulation and air conditioning tips, you’ll be in great shape to enjoy your time inside at home without overheating or owing piles to the energy company.
Campbell Homes is a top energy-efficient home builder in the Colorado Springs area.
Click here to learn about the energy and water-saving features that are standard with Campbell Homes.