If you’re hoping to keep cool this summer, you could simply shut all the windows and doors and blast the air conditioner from dawn until dusk. That’s the easy way to stay comfortable, but it’s hardly affordable. Use these six tips to keep cool while maximizing A/C efficiency and reducing the amount you need to operate the air conditioner.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
One major purpose of having your air conditioner serviced every spring is to ensure peak efficiency all summer long. Air conditioner maintenance entails changing the filter, cleaning the equipment, lubricating moving parts, checking the refrigerant level and clearing the area around the unit to maximize airflow. Each of these services improves air conditioner performance and brings your energy bills down.
Cool Off the House at Night
If you live in a dry climate where it cools off at night, take advantage of the natural outdoor coolness and throw open the windows and screen doors after dark. This natural ventilation cools off your house at no cost to you.
For more help cooling off the interior, have a whole-house fan installed. Run this fixture all night long to actively draw cool nighttime air in through the windows and up through the ceiling. Your whole house will cool off from top to bottom.
No matter which method you choose, close the windows and draw the drapes in the morning to trap cool air inside. Your efforts might let you get away with not running the A/C until late afternoon.
Run the Ceiling Fan
You’re probably familiar with the chilling effect of wind in the winter, which makes bitter temperatures even more unbearably cold. You can use the wind chill effect to your advantage in the summer by turning on the ceiling fan.
Airflow over your skin makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler, so you can turn up this thermostat this amount without sacrificing comfort. Just remember to shut off the ceiling fan when the room is empty to conserve energy.
Avoid Heating the House from the Inside
Interior heat gain is a huge issue in the summer. To prevent heating your home only to pay to cool it off again, avoid cooking in the oven, using the desktop computer, running the dishwasher or drying clothes in the dryer during the heat of the afternoon. Cook in the microwave or outside on the grill when possible, and save these other heat-generating activities for after dark.
Block Solar Heat Gain
The sun is another huge contributor to summer heat gain. Keep cool by blocking solar rays from entering in the first place. Window coverings and films, strategic landscaping, and roof overhangs and awnings shade windows to prevent direct sunlight from shining in.
Keep Cool Without the Air Conditioner
You probably won’t want to turn the A/C off completely, but you can set the temperature back a few degrees when you implement some sneaky tricks.
For example, hide out in the basement during the hottest hours of the day where it’s 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Replace your usual moisturizer with aloe vera-infused lotion to cool your skin. To bring your body temperature down and help you sleep on hot summer nights, take a tepid shower or bath right before bed and sleep in damp pajamas.
Want more tips to keep cool and comfortable this summer? Please contact Aire Serv® to learn more or to schedule annual air conditioner maintenance.