When summer temperatures soar to the triple digits, you can beat the heat by heading to the community pool or hitting up your favorite air-conditioned coffee shops and movie theaters. You will eventually have to go home, though, and that means blasting the AC and jacking up your electric bill.
Isn’t there a better way? As it turns out, there are several strategies you can employ to minimize the heat transfer into your living spaces and retain as much cool air as possible to reduce cooling costs and energy waste. How can you keep hot air outside where it belongs? Here are a few tips to try in your own home.
1. Keep Windows Open At Night
If temperatures cool significantly after dark, take advantage. Every open window can help to cool your home, especially when you create cross breezes to promote cool air flow and dispel any lingering heat trapped inside. This will eliminate the need to run the AC around the clock, reducing home energy costs in the process.
2. Reverse the Rotation of Ceiling Fans
Typically, ceiling fans rotate in a clockwise motion. You might not see the importance of this distinction, but because of the way the fan blades are angled, this serves to push air down. That’s why you feel the breeze from a ceiling fan when you walk underneath it.
However, you may actually feel cooler if you reverse the direction of the fan so that the blades rotate counterclockwise instead. As you may know, heat rises. When the fan is sucking warm air up, instead of pushing it down onto you, cool air will have a chance to rise, creating a more uniformly cooled home interior, helping you get the most from your air conditioner and improving energy efficiency.
Often, you’ll find a simple switch somewhere on the base of the ceiling fan that allows you to select the direction of rotation. Do this when the fan is turned off and no longer spinning.
3. Cook Outside During Summer Months
Turning on the oven is a great way to heat your home. Sure, it’s nice during the winter, when baking cookies or roasting squash creates a cozy interior. During the hot summer, however, it’s sure to turn your kitchen into a sauna.
Instead, keep your home cool by heading outdoors and firing up the grill. You’ll get the cooked meal you want and let the heat dissipate into surrounding air. Plus, you can enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors and keep an eye on kids cooling off in the pool.
4. Close Windows and Curtains During the Day
Windows are among the most common points of ingress for hot air in your home, so you want to do all you can to minimize heat transfer, especially during the hottest part of the day. This means closing windows and window coverings in order to block the light and heat of the sun.
Closing windows before it really starts to heat up outside will keep cool air in and warm air out, but you also need to cover windows to stop solar rays from increasing your interior temperature.
If you don’t want to lose the view, you could also consider adding a solar shades. The right products can provide you with privacy while helping to preserve your view, depending on transparency. However, these are likely to cost more than, say, blackout curtains.
5. Upgrade to Frameless Glass Doors for Improved Energy Efficiency
Frameless glass doors are not only a great way to enjoy the view and open up your indoors to incorporate outdoor living spaces – they can also help to ensure that your home interior stays cool. How does it work?
Frameless glass doors, like those from Cover Glass, utilize a low-E glass coating that counters the damaging effects of UV light and infrared rays that transfer heat, so you won’t have to worry about surfaces fading or undue heat transfer through glass. In other words, you can reduce heat and enjoy the view unimpeded.
6. Plan for Shade
If you’ve ever stood under a tree when the sun is shining overhead, you know if feels noticeably cooler in the shade. In fact, shaded areas can be as much as 10-15 degrees cooler than areas in direct sunlight.
If you want to reduce heat entering your home, you might consider adding shade outside to cool the interior. You can start by planting trees, but it could be several years before they reach a height and fullness that provides ample shade. In the meantime, think about awnings over windows and doors to do the job until your saplings mature.
High levels of humidity can make your home feel even hotter than it is. If you don’t want to run your AC day and night to enjoy both cooling and dehumidifying effects, consider placing portable dehumidifiers in every room, or at least the rooms you use the most, to pull moisture from the air.
This will help to create a more comfortable atmosphere and maximize other cooling efforts. Don’t forget to install an exhaust fan in any bathroom with a shower to reduce heat and humidity.
8. Conduct a Home Energy Audit
Wouldn’t you like to know where cool air is leaking from your home and hot, outside air is getting in, compromising your energy efficiency and interior comfort? A home energy audit includes a top-to-bottom assessment of your structure, along with testing (like a blower test) to pinpoint areas of inefficiency.
This could include everything from energy-guzzling incandescent lights, to crumbling weather stripping around windows and doors, to insufficient attic insulation, for example.
The report you receive will not only detail areas of energy waste, but also offer suggestions for improvement, such as upgrading from single-paned to double-paned windows or filling in gaps around pipes or vents to prevent air leakage and heat transfer.
9. Promote Air Flow with Frameless Sliding Glass Doors
Frameless sliding glass doors from Cover Glass allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding your home year-round, but in the summer months, they also offer a means of improving home cooling.
Whether you slide them open just a little or fling them wide during the cool evening hours, you can increase air flow, cool your home naturally, and reduce your need for expensive AC.