5 Ways to Prepare Your Home During The Summer
The summer months mean barbecues, pool parties, and of course, rising temperatures. For many of us, higher temperatures also mean higher electric bills from running the air conditioner. But, hotter weather does not have to spell an increase in energy usage and utility bills. Here are five ways to prepare your home for summer that will help you beat the heat, without spending a fortune on electricity.
- Maintain your air conditioning unit.
As with any appliance or component of your home, regular maintenance of your home’s air conditioner is essential. A well-maintained air conditioner is less likely to break down when you need it the most. Maintaining your air conditioning unit consists of a few things, including: replacing the filter, cleaning the coils and coil fins, cleaning the condensate drains and winterizing the unit. Professional maintenance and regular inspections are just as important as the maintenance you do yourself, because there are some things that are difficult to do on your own.
- Replace your windows.
Older windows, particularly wood windows, eventually deteriorate and no longer the openings that were once designed to. When this happens, heat can continuously slip into your home and your air conditioning unit will have an extremely difficult time keeping the interior temperature at whatever setting you put it on. Replacing these old windows with new window panes as well as new frames is a must in order to keep your home cool this summer.
- Set your thermostat.
Setting your thermostat to the right temperature is key, not only for comfort, but also for saving money on energy costs. 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) is considered a good setting for your thermostat during the summer. For additional savings, you can turn your thermostat 7-10 degrees higher for 8 hours out of the day. This will save you as much as 10% on your energy bill.
- Install blackout shades or curtains.
Blackout shades or curtains are another cost-effective way to keep your house cool in the summer months. Reversible shades are likely the best option, as they can be used both in the summer and in the winter. These shades are black on one side and white on the other. In the summer, you turn the white side outward, which leaves the black side of the shades facing inward. This helps reflect heat that comes into the house through the windows, helping keep the heat out without using extra electricity.
- Switch your fan settings.
Most ceiling fans have two settings, one that rotates the fan blades clockwise, and the other that rotates the blades counter-clockwise. One setting pulls warm air downward which makes the room warmer, whereas the other setting produces a sort of “wind chill” effect that creates a cool breeze to help you feel cooler. Set your fan to its counter-clockwise rotation setting to help you beat the summer without turning up the air conditioning.
When things heat up, you don’t need to spend a fortune operating your air conditioner. There are many small changes and improvements you can make to your home to help you stay cool during the summer months. These are a few easy and inexpensive changes that can result in significant savings and a cool interior.
About the Author: Hayden Stewart is a contributing writer and media specialist for the Allied Van Lines Moving Blog. He regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and home blogs, based around the transitional obstacles that come with moving, settling into a new home, and more.
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