Summer’s here! Cookouts, going to the shore, road trips, heat, and humidity! Wait, what? Yup, it’s time for heat and humidity. Around our New Jersey area, hot and humid weather is a part of summer just like water, ice, cotton candy, and sunburns. It can be tough to keep your house cool in the heat, but here are some tips to make it easier.
Using a dehumidifier will help keep your house cool, even with an air conditioner. If you have humid areas in your home, like your basement, a dehumidifier will help keep the humidity level down. It’ll also help keep mold and mildew from forming. Another tip is to leave the vent fan on in your bathroom on longer after taking a shower. It’ll vent the heat and moisture out of the bathroom and keep it out of the rest of the house. Leaving it on for about 15-20 minutes or so should do it. They don’t use much electricity so leaving it on a little longer will have little to no impact on your monthly bill.
Blocking sunlight will help reduce the heat in your home. Use your curtains, blinds, and shades to help reduce heat. You might need to have thicker curtains or even install thermal shades. You can also put reflective film on your windows. Using these on south and west facing windows will especially help since these windows get the most sun during the day.
Air infiltration is a major factor in high air conditioning bills. It doesn’t have to be a large opening, a small crack in the caulking around your windows, a bad weather strip on your doors and other possible areas of air leakage, like your crawl space and recessed lights. The size of all the cracks and leaks in the average house will add up to about the size of a basketball. And that’s a lot of good air leaking out!
Ceiling fans can go a long way to keeping your home cool. Ceiling fans help circulate the air which keeps the air from stratifying. What that means is that it keeps the cool air from settling in on the floor and the warm air up by the ceiling. By circulating the air, the temperature will remain constant, keep you cooler, and will prevent your A/C from running as much. If you have high ceilings in some rooms and an open loft area, ceiling fans will help these areas from getting too warm and you’ll find them much more comfortable.
If you’re not using them, turn off any unnecessary lights. Yeah, it sounds like your dad, but it makes sense. Even fluorescent and LED bulbs give off a little bit of heat, so turning them off will help. If you have older style incandescent bulbs, they definitely give off a lot of heat. As a matter of fact, older style incandescent bulbs only use 5% of the electricity they use for light and give the rest off as heat. Replacing these will cut down on heat generation and lower your electric bill. Plus, fluorescent and LED bulbs last much longer than incandescent bulbs, so you’ll save money on electricity and by not having to replace your light bulbs so often. Some LED bulbs will last up to 10 years and use a tiny fraction of the power used by an incandescent bulb.
Don’t use the kitchen stove. It’s that simple. Besides, it’s grilling season! By cooking and grilling outside, you won’t heat up the house. We all know how much your stove and oven heat up the kitchen and parts of the house, especially if you have an open floor plan, the heat can spread to the living and dining rooms. By grilling outside, you’ll A) have some great food, and, more importantly, B), save on your cooling costs. Besides, who wants to be in a hot kitchen when you can be outside, enjoying the weather, your family and friends, and showing off your grilling and culinary skills? Thought so.
There are many other ways to keep your cooling costs down this summer. For more ideas and tips, contact Mark Lindsay & Son and we’ll go over what you can do to keep your bills down and your house cool. We’ll help you implement any necessary changes and make sure your HVAC system is working at peak efficiency!