Published on July 11th, 2018
As a child growing up and still to this day, my mom is constantly giving me advice. I can hear her telling me, “Tom, don’t leave a candle burning when you leave a room because it could start a fire,” or “Tom, don’t run your washer while you are away from the house in case it leaks water.” Over my 40-some years, Mom has given me lots of advice, good advice mostly. And now that it’s summer, I’m sharing some of her advice on how you can stay cooler inside when it’s so dang hot outside.
What to Do to Make Your House Cooler and Give Your AC a Break
1. Reschedule laundry and cooking
Your clothes dryer, oven, and stove generate heat, a lot of heat. Give your air conditioner a break by scheduling laundry and cooking so that you do not create extra heat in the hottest part of the day.
2. Plant a tree
When you plant a deciduous tree on the south side of your house, it is a natural source of solar energy control. Its leaves block the sun’s heat during the summer. But in the fall, they drop off to let the sun’s warmth shine through when you need it all winter.
3. Call for a checkup
If you haven’t already had your air conditioner checked by a qualified air conditioning contractor, schedule an appointment today. We can clean your air conditioner, check for leaks and optimize your refrigerant charge, and replace your filter. This will help your air conditioner work better and last longer.
Fact: Only 10% of all air conditioners are charged accurately at the time of installation!
4. Lock your windows
Yep. Lock your windows, even where security isn’t an issue. Why? The lock presses the weather stripping tightly together to give you a better seal. And that keeps the cool air inside your home. Storm windows are just as important in the summer as they are in the winter.
5. Close your garage door to keep the house cooler
If your garage opens to the south or west side of the house, hot sunshine heats up your garage. And as that heat creeps into your house, it just makes your air conditioner work that much harder. Even if your garage does not face the south or west, a closed garage door will help minimize the loss of cooled air from inside the house.
6. Always draw the blinds
Drawn blinds really do make a difference. When they’re drawn, they keep the warm rays of the summer sun out, and the cool air in.
7. Run ceiling fans and floor fans first
As we begin to feel warm, the immediate reaction is to go turn the air on. But don’t give in to that temptation. Running fans first for a little while can cool a room down by 3-4 degrees. Depending on the situation, that could be all you need. Dollar saved!
8. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans
These fans drastically reduce the humidity burden inside your home. They shouldn’t be used continuously, only as needed. For example, turn the bathroom fan on after a shower.
9. Invest in a smart thermostat
There’s a little bit of expense to this one up front. But the general features and patterns that a smart thermostat is capable of will save you good money on your energy bill on a regular basis. Like a flower, your thermostat should follow the sun through the sky. You should enjoy cooler temperatures at night while the sun is down to reduce humidity for sleeping. Then, set the temperature higher during the heat of the late morning and afternoon so your unit doesn’t have to work so hard. The comfort will remain the same because the temperature difference between outside and inside will stay the same. We recommend NEST brand learning thermostats. Check for available rebates for NEST brand learning thermostats here.
10. Make sure your home is properly insulated
This can come at a cost as well. But when cool air escapes, your home is not as energy efficient as it could be. Make sure that exterior doors and windows fit tightly and that your home is properly insulated. And consider replacing old windows.
11. Invest in a dehumidifier
Moist, humid air feels warmer and more uncomfortable than dry air does.
Your air conditioner removes humidity in the air. But to do that, it needs to be running.
Whole-house dehumidifiers utilize the ductwork in your home to exchange air, and they are installed as a component of your central HVAC system. If a whole-house dehumidifier is installed, you can set your air conditioner to a higher temperature and still take moisture out of the air. A dehumidifier continues to remove moisture from the air even while your AC is turned off, making you feel drier and more comfortable. They are much more efficient at removing moisture from the air than individual units placed around the home.
Have you tried any of the tips listed to keep your home cooler and give your AC a break? If you have, let us know in the comments which ones you’ve tried and how they worked for you. Or share one of your tried-and-true tips that keep your home cooler during our hot Chicago summers.
Call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling at (630) 761-9007 today. We’ll assess exactly which systems and types of systems are needed to keep your home cooler this summer.
1965 Powis Road