Preparing Your Home for Summer

We have had a great Spring, haven’t we?  Normally by this time of year we’ve already experienced weeks of 90 degree temperatures.  But here we are in mid-May and over-night temperatures are still dropping into the upper-sixties.  It’s great. 

But, unfortunately this will not last forever, and soon enough the heat of summer will hit us like Josh Hamilton hits a baseball: hard.  And we all know the worst part of summer isn’t the fact that you’re sweating by 9am, it’s the fact that your utility bills  double, and sometimes triple, in efforts to keep your house cool.

So we’re here to offer some energy-efficient tips and tricks on how you, your house and your wallet can find some relief from the summer heat.  Most of these tips will be very routine and easy, but we will also throw in some larger undertakings for anyone feeling up to it.  Lets get started!

Energy Efficient and Cost Efficient

1. Clean or replace window unit or central air conditioning system filters monthly.  Dirty filters cause AC units to work harder therefore using more energy.

2.  Remove any shrubs, leaves, vines or other objects around or near your outdoor air conditioning unit to ensure air is passing through freely, and nothing is compromising the fan.  However, it is beneficial to offer some shade to your AC unit with an appropriately placed tree.

3. Set the thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. Raising the temperature just two degrees can reduce cooling costs by as much as 5 percent.

4. Check weather stripping around doors and caulking around windows. Properly sealed doors and windows help prevent outside air from entering the home.

5. Close blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day to help block the sun’s heat.  This is especially beneficial for rooms exposed to the afternoon sun.

6.  Place heat-producing appliances such as lamps and televisions away from the air conditioning thermostat to prevent inaccurate temperature readings.

7.  Use fans to draw cooler air down and push hot air up. Fan blades should rotate counter-clockwise during summer months.

8.  Make sure the attic is properly insulated and ventilated. Since your roof acts as an absorbent, adequate insulation will prevent the heat from coming into the house, and a good venting system will get rid of build-up.

9.  Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They are not only more energy efficient, but they give off less heat.

10.  Inspect dryer vents to ensure there is no blockage or leak.  This may cause warm air to blow back into the house causing temperatures to rise.

For the Go-Getter

1.  Paint your house a lighter more reflective color.

2.  Plant trees around your house to provide shade.

3.  Replace old windows with a modern, energy-efficient option made of insulated glass with Low-E coatings and argon gases. 

4.  Install a solar-paneled or wind-driven vent pipes in the attic for year-round cooling and heating benefits.

5.  Upgrade your air unit to something with a higher efficiency rating for added cost savings.

So there you have it! We hope these tips and tricks will make this summer more enjoyable.  Feel free to comment with other helpful tips we might have missed. Or does someone have a story about an energy efficient upgrade they made to their home that made a nice impact on their utility bills? Do tell!

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