Warm weather is coming, but just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean your home needs to be a refrigerator! Summer can feel like one of the most difficult seasons for regulating indoor temperatures, so here are a few tips for staying comfortable.
- Stop before you turn on that air. Try natural ventilation first: Keep windows open on both the side of your house that faces the wind, and the opposite side. If you have multiple levels, open windows on the top level, too. The idea is that fresh, cool air blows in from the side of the house facing the wind, and the hot air is forced out the other side. In a multilevel house, the goal is to fill the first floor with fresh, cool air, while the hot air rises and is pulled out through the upper floors — the “chimney effect”.
- Watch what you eat. Try making meals that don’t require an oven. Instead, use a microwave, stovetop, or better yet, grill outside.
- If you can do chores that warm up your house, like laundry and cooking, during the coolest parts of the day, you’ll need less air conditioning.
- Cover up. Use blinds and shades on your windows to keep the sun from heating your house during the day. However, a word of caution: Find a balance so that you don’t need to turn on lights. Lights also heat your home and use electricity.
- Check your air conditioner. Does it need a clean filter? Is the air vent closed? When you do turn your air conditioner on, use your ceiling fan at the same time to circulate the air. According to PG&E, “If you turn your ceiling fan on when using the air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat about 4°F to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort.”
Have some tips for keeping cool in the summer that we haven’t covered? Tell us in the comments section below.