We are in the heart of summer! Pool parties, BBQ’s, and incredibly hot, sunny days are upon us. One thing that always comes with these days is the question of how can we keep our homes cool and comfortable? Air conditioning is great, but like your father would always tell you, turning down the thermostat turns up the power bill. We all want to be cost effective, but we also want to keep our homes nice and cool during these summer months. Here are some tips to help you keep your home cool without breaking the bank.
Natural light is always a nice thing, but it can also make your home significantly warmer. When the sun is beating on windows, make sure those windows have the blinds turned and the curtains pulled shut. This will reduce the amount of light that is absorbing into heat inside your home. You can also make sure the blinds and curtains are shut when the family is away. No need for the light to come in when no one is home.
You can also check the windows for drafts. If you hold a small candle flame up to your window frames, (be careful of the drapes!) you can check for leaks. If the candle flame tilts toward you, consider re-caulking your windows to plug the leaks.
Air Conditioning Hacks
This may seem obvious, but it is still worth checking in on your thermostat to make sure your AC is not running all day. Most thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of day (I have yet to see a home that still has those old lever thermostats). In Utah County, it is cool enough in the mornings that you can keep your AC off until the late afternoon, or early evening if you’re ambitious.
Something else to think about is to shift the focus to cooling down yourself, not necessarily your home. A damp washcloth around your neck or a cold shower are great alternatives to cranking your AC.
There is a strategy to using fans to cool your home. First of all, make sure your ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise. Actually I’m serious. When the ceiling fan is turning counterclockwise, it pushes cool air onto you creating a nice breeze. If your ceiling fan is turning clockwise, it pulls up cool air, and disperses the warm air that is up high.
Another strategy is to keep an eye on your weather app, and when it is cool enough, put a fan in your window. This works well to cool off a room without the need for AC.
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