Cooling Your Home without the Air Conditioner Running
Summer means many things to different people. To most, it means swimming, cookouts, camping, and baseball games. It really is the season of enjoying the great outdoors and spending time with friends and family. However, one of the defining points of summer can also be one of the most uncomfortable and frustrating: the heat. Some people prefer to stay inside where they have their air conditioners running, and while that is a great way to combat the heat, it is also a great way to spend lots of money and energy. However, there are ways that you can cool off your home without running your AC, and following are a few of them.
1. Add Less Heat Inside
You may not realize it, but inside your home there are many sources of indoor heat ranging from appliances to electronics. Keeping these turned off or limiting their use can cool off your home a great deal. Here are some of the heat sources in your home and how they emit heat:
- Lighting: Traditional incandescent light bulbs use more of the electricity they use into heat, rather than light. To ensure your light bulbs aren’t giving off heat into your home you can switch to LED light bulbs or fluorescent bulbs.
- Showers: If you enjoy starting your day with a hot shower, make sure you turn your bathroom fan on to get all the steamy air out of your home. Leaving the steam in your bathroom can let it spread throughout your home and allow heat and uncomfortable humidity to build up.
- Cooking: Using smaller cooking appliances can help your home stay cool. When you use the oven or the stove, your air conditioning unit has to work harder to get the heat out of your home. You can use a toaster oven, slow cooker, or a microwave to lessen the amount of heat your appliances give off.
2. Absorb Less Heat
There are actions you can take to make your home less absorbent to heat, so you don’t have to run your air conditioner as often. Here is what you can do to make your home absorb less heat:
- Shade Plants: Plants like vines and shrubs can be put in specific locations around your yard and your home to provide shade. Climbing vines can shade a patio, large plants like bamboo can be put in front of windows to prevent sun shining through, and many other plants can be used to provide shade.
- A Cool Roof: When it is time to replace your old roof, consider for your next one a roof made out of special materials or ones with coatings that reflect the sun’s rays and result in a cooler interior for your home.
- Light-Colored Paint: One of the key factors of keeping your home cool in the summer is the color of your home. Painting your house a light color will help it stay cooler in the summertime; dark colors absorb light and heat, while lighter colors reflect them.
3. Insulate and Seal
Adding insulation to your home has many benefits, and the majority of them are apparent in the summer. Having insulation slows down the transfer of heat through walls by interrupting heat transfer, keeping the hot air out and the cooler air inside. There are ways to improve your home’s insulation:
- Insulate Your Attic: Many people may dismiss the value of insulation but in reality, it matters a great deal. If your attic is well-insulated, it’ll keep hot air up and away from the living areas of your home better. With A-1’s insulation and air sealing services, your indoor air quality will dramatically improve and energy costs will go down, so be sure to contact us for a free, no-obligation quote.
- Seal Doors and Windows: Sealing air leaks in doors and windows with weather-stripping or caulk can prevent hot air from moving through large gaps and into your home. Most weather stripping is needed at door and window seams.
- Keep Windows Shut: The mistake people make here is leaving their windows open during the day to get the hot air out of their home. What you should be doing is keep your windows shut during the day because the insulation your windows have can keep the heat out. In the evening is when you should open the windows because that’s when the air has cooled off.
4. Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Keeping your air conditioning unit maintained will ensure that it is running efficiently, and it will prevent it from working harder than it has to. Having a poorly maintained AC unit results in less efficiency, a bigger workload, turning on and off more often, and more repair costs. The best way to maintain your system is by having one of our experts in HVAC in Richmond come out and do it for you. In addition, you can:
- Clear Away Debris: Make sure there are no dead leaves or tall grass in the condenser unit of your central AC system to open up the air flow and allow heat to disperse efficiently.
- Clean the Coils: Check your evaporator coil for debris and dust occasionally. An easy way to clear out the debris is using the upholstery attachment on your household vacuum.
- Keep your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature setting possible, especially during the day. Don’t turn off your thermostat if you are gone for the day, just turn it up. This puts much less stress on your system.
There are many ways you can keep your home cool in the summer without using your air conditioning non-stop. Not running your AC unit unless it becomes absolutely necessary will be cost-effective for you and it can also improve the lifespan of your unit. To make sure your air conditioner is always running efficiently, take advantage of our maintenance services for HVAC in Richmond. Contact us for more information