Summer is just around the corner, and with the change of seasons comes rising temperatures. While warm weather can be great for a day outside, heat can get to be dangerous without a cool home to come back to. Heat exhaustion is one of three heat-related syndromes - heat cramps are the mildest and heat stroke is the most extreme. However, any of these three can be a problem if you don't have a cool home to help you get away from the heat. Use these tips to keep your home comfortable and cool this summer without a sky-high energy bill.
Make Some Upgrades
Updating and upgrading your home appliances and features can be a great way to keep temperatures down without driving up your electricity bill. Depending on the age of your home, the insulation can be a great place to start. Good insulation can reduce the cost of heating and cooling by over 40%. You'll use less energy to cool your home, since improved insulation will be better at keeping the cool air in your home and the hot air out.
Another place you'll want to check when upgrading or updating your appliances for the summer is your HVAC system. Even if you aren't due for a new one, yours might be in need of some maintenance. As much as 25% to 40% of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. This is partially because contaminants build up in the HVAC system, forcing it to work harder. Clean out your HVAC and change out your filter to keep your home's air conditioning working as efficiently as possible.
Block Out Sunlight
While getting a bit of extra sun during the day is nice, it might be worth closing your blinds or drapes if you find your home getting a bit too warm during the summer. Extra sunlight can heat up your home during the longer days of summer, so investing in blackout curtains could help to keep temperatures down affordably.
Ceiling Fan Smarts
Do you have a ceiling fan in your home? If so, you're potentially missing out on an easy way to save during the summer months. Check your ceiling fan to see if you can switch the direction it spins; having your fan spin in the other direction will keep hot air near the ceiling and away from where you are. This will make your home cooler without you having to spend more money on energy.
Summer's a great time to set up your backyard garden, and not just for having improved landscaping. If you use trees and shrubs correctly in your yard near windows and doors, the extra shade they provide will help keep your home slightly cooler. You'll be doing the environment a favor as well as your electricity bill.
Keeping your home cool during the summer months doesn't have to necessarily be expensive, even though in an average home, heating and cooling make up 54% of annual utility bills. Use these tips to keep both your bills and your home's indoor temperatures low during the hottest months of the year.