It’s hot out there, and sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, you can’t escape the discomfort of it. Sticking to your furniture is never fun.
Lots of homeowners want to reduce their dependence on the air conditioner, even if they do have a super-efficient, modern one. We’re all for saving money, so take a look at some of the tips below and stay cool and comfortable all summer long.
Tips for outside and inside
- Generate as little heat as possible inside. When possible, avoid heat-generating activities like running the dishwasher & oven until the sun goes down.
- Don’t leave doors or windows open for more than a few seconds. The cool air escapes faster than you realize.
- If you have ceiling fans, use them to get comfortable at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range in the summer is between 22 C and 25 C. You can extend that to about 28 C with a ceiling-mounted paddle fan set to low.
- Do you have any shade trees around the house? Consider Eastern White Pines, and don’t plant trees on the south if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.
- If you have an older central air conditioner, consider upgrading to something more practical and efficient. You could also look into ductless air conditioners for the areas in your home where ducts don’t make sense.
- If buying a new air conditioner, make sure you purchase a properly sized unit for your home. Leave it up to the experts to evaluate the correct size unit for your home.
- In hot, humid climates, make sure that the air conditioner you buy will adequately get rid of high humidity. Models with variable or multi-speed blowers are generally best. Try to keep moisture sources out of the house. Matching up with the right furnace will ensure cool air where you want it
- Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
- Make sure your air conditioner ductwork is sealed properly and insulate ducts running through unheated basements, crawl spaces, etc….
- Make sure your air conditioner receives its annual maintenance, so it gives you all the cool air you want to optimize efficiency levels.
Can I do something to my windows?
Yes, you can!
- Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50%.
- Close south and west-facing curtains during the day.
- If you’re up for some renovations, install awnings on any south facing windows that get direct sun through the day and re-caulk windows to prevent cool air from escaping.
- Experiment with bamboo shades outside some windows during the summer to stop most of the sun’s heat from getting to the windows in the first place.
Specifics for your air conditioner
- Provide some shade for your air conditioner. This will keep it running about 10% more efficiently.
- Clean the air conditioner’s air filter monthly. Dust and debris can cut back cooling power by 1-2% every month.
- Don’t leave the air conditioner on when you leave the house (unless you have a pet).
And that’s it, 17 ways to help keep your house cooler and more comfortable this summer.
Give us a call or stop by our showroom in Oakville to learn more.