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Regardless of the temperature outside, every homeowner can benefit from keeping things cool on the inside, whether it’s for comfort or for cost saving purposes. Here are a few options to consider when looking for ways to beat the heat:
Air Conditioning: When purchasing a new air conditioning system, evaluate the size of the room and/or square footage of the home to make sure it has the ability to be energy efficient, based on your needs. If you have an older central air unit, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a newer, more efficient model.
Regular Maintenance: There are a number of ways to keep your unit in tip-top shape long term. Clean the filter or replace it monthly (depending on the model and maintenance guidelines from the manufacturer) so dust and dirt won't reduce air flow. In conjuction with your own maintenance routine, have an HVAC professional come in once a year to give your system a full tune up. They'll assess the unit's current condition and provide recommendations for any additional maintenance and/or repairs.
Heat Build-Up: Try to keep the thermostat around 78°F and supplement air conditioning with ceiling fans. Keep the house closed up tight during the day and don’t air condition rooms you don’t use. Keep the use of heat-generating appliances including the stove, washer and dryer, or dishwasher to a minimum, especially during daylight hours, and consider replacing any that put an extra burden on cooling the house overall.
Windows: It may be beautiful outside, but when it’s warmer than normal keep those curtains pulled and the shades down during the day, particularly for windows getting direct sun exposure. Consider getting thermal or insulated drapes. To further keep heat and light from entering your home, have tightly woven fitted screens or bamboo shades installed on the outside of the windows.
There are many ways to keep things cool on the home front this summer. Just be conscious of all the little things you can do that will add up to some real savings, and then sit back and enjoy the season!