10 Practical Summer Home Cooling Tips

Keeping cool in the summer heat is important for everyone’s comfort and health. Unfortunately, relying solely on air conditioning isn’t feasible for everyone and has both financial and environmental effects.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to enhance the effects of your air conditioning and natural ways to keep your home cool. Here are ten of the best summer home cooling tips to try this year.

Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

The first step in summer home cooling efforts is to schedule preventative air conditioning maintenance. This task may seem pointless if you haven’t noticed an issue with your unit, but there are several benefits to taking a proactive approach. When you call AC Genius for your air conditioning repairs, a technician will ensure your air conditioner doesn’t give out during the peak summer months. This visit can also save you money by improving the air conditioner’s energy efficiency and lifespan.

Get ahead of the peak season by scheduling your appointment in late winter or early spring.

Try Strategic Landscaping Techniques

Did you know that your landscaping efforts can impact the energy efficiency and temperature of your home? Strategic landscaping can help you keep your home cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter.

Plant a few deciduous (leafy) trees and bushes in front of your South and East-facing windows. During the summer months, the leaves will provide shade to keep your home cool. During the winter, the leaves will fall away and let in the winter sun.

You can also place evergreen bushes and trees toward the North of your property to create shade during the summer and act as a windbreak during the winter.

Creating the ideal microclimate for your home ultimately depends on your region. Take some time to research other landscaping strategies to keep your home cool during the summer months.

Block and Seal Windows

Windows are responsible for upward of 25-30% of home heating and cooling bills. That means a quarter of what you pay for air conditioning is for nothing.

The best way to circumvent this issue is to block and seal windows from the summer sun. You can get a cheap set of thermal curtains that block the summer sun and winter drafts, paying for themselves after one season. Keep the curtains closed during peak hours and open them as needed.

You can also get thermal window film if you prefer to let the sun shine through to stick to your windows. This film is similar to window tinting and can moderately reduce the impacts of the sun as it shines through your windows. However, it won’t be as useful during the winter months.

Optimize Your Fans

Optimize Your Fans

Ceiling and oscillating fans are one of the simplest, most effective ways to enhance your home cooling efforts. Ensure your ceiling fans are turned on counterclockwise during the summer months. The fans will create a downdraft that pushes warm air back to the floor and creates better balance with your air conditioner. If you have a multi-story home, invest in a ceiling fan over the stairs for better airflow.

Some well-placed floor fans can also help improve the air distribution in your home so you don’t experience hot and cold spots. For some localized climate control, you can also position a bowl of ice on a stool in front of a floor fan for budget-friendly cooling.

Ensure Proper Humidity Control

Humidity has a unique way of impacting how people perceive temperatures. This phenomenon makes 80 degrees feel different in landlocked regions compared to coastal regions.

Excess humidity in your home can make you feel warmer during the summer months and colder during the winter. Signs of excess humidity include:

  • Condensation on the windows.
  • Fogging mirrors.
  • Signs of mold growth.
  • A dusty mildew smell.
  • The sensation that you’re wearing a hot towel.

Talk to an air conditioning specialist if you’re concerned about humidity levels. There could be a humidity imbalance if something is wrong with your air conditioner. You can also invest in a basic dehumidifier to help correct the issue.

Take Advantage of Breezy Days

Offset the costs of your air conditioning by turning it off and opening windows on breezy days. This simple shift could save you hundreds in monthly cooling costs and reintroduce fresh air into your home. Take advantage of the fringe seasons and leave windows open at night rather than relying on AC.

Check Your Attic Insulation

In addition to scheduling annual air conditioner upkeep, you should also check your attic every spring. Attic insulation plays a crucial role in keeping your home cool during summer. While attic insulation should last for 10-15 years, if your attic isn’t properly vented or your roof requires repairs, the insulation could degrade faster.

The easiest way to determine if your attic needs more insulation is to look at the floor joists. If the insulation isn’t reaching the top of the joist or is just level, more is needed.

Block Unused Rooms and Vents

Redirecting the airflow will help distribute your air conditioning more efficiently based on how you use it. Close the doors and vents in rooms that aren’t used or don’t require the same level of cooling— bathrooms, for example.

Cook Outside

Summer is a great time to turn on the grill and make salads with fresh, seasonal vegetables. In addition to satisfying your appetite, cooking outside and eating cold dishes will also help enhance the effectiveness of your air conditioner.

When you turn on the stove or oven, you impact the heat and humidity of the immediate area. Your air conditioner has to work harder to keep up, driving up consumption and costs. If you do need to cook or bake, consider waiting until later when it’s cooler outside.

Use a Clothesline or Rack

The clothes dryer is another source of heat and humidity. Consider hanging your laundry out on a clothesline or rack to minimize your dryer use. This habit will improve the efficiency of your air conditioner and help you cut electricity costs. You should also take the time to ensure your dryer vents are clean and debris-free after each winter.

If you’re worried about your clothes being stiff, you can always toss your clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes on a cool setting to fluff them up.

Final Thoughts

Using these practical summer home cooling tips will help you save on air conditioning costs, improve your health and comfort level, and even extend the lifespan of your HVAC systems. Track your progress by comparing utility bills from this summer to last year— the savings will be evident.

Thank you for reading!

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