Our summers just seem to be getting hotter and hotter, which means our air conditioners are working harder and harder. When a heat wave hits our air conditioner has to run around the clock, and at times has a hard time keeping a home cool.
Here’s a list of 18 tips you can do to help keep your house cool and give you’re A/C a well-deserved break.
15 Tips to help keep a home cool.
- Cook Outside – The oven and stove can create incredible amounts of heat, and in the case of the oven can remain hot for hours. So get outside and fire up the grill, and don’t forget that side burner most grills come with nowadays.
- Cover Those Pots and Pans – Covering your pots and pans while you cook decreases their cooking time while keeping moisture out of the air.
- Pull the Shades – Keep the shades pulled on the sunny side of the house. Also white or light colored shades help by reflecting more heat, keeping it outside rather than in.
- Use Outside Shades – Hanging cloth or bamboo shades on the outside of windows will reduce the amount of heat that passes through your windows. Outside shades stop most of the radiant heat before it passes through the window.
- Let the cold air in – If night time temperatures drop be sure to open windows and doors and let the home cool off. Be sure to get everything closed before morning temperatures start to rise. You can buy lockable security screen doors and window locks that only let windows open a couple of inches if you want to keep your home secure throughout the night.
- Shut off any Appliance You Don’t Need – Appliances create a lot off heat around the home. Shut them off and wait for the heat to break.
- Unplug Unused Electronics – Electronics generate heat even when they’re off. TV’s, home theater systems, stereos, and computers all produce heat. Shut them off and if they still produce heat unplug them.
- 8. Switch Light Bulbs – Standard incandescent light bulbs generate a lot of heat, in fact 90% of the energy consumed by these bulbs is wasted producing heat not light. Replace these bulbs with compact florescent or LED bulbs. They produce little heat and use much less energy.
- 9. Shorten Long Hot Showers – Showers produce less heat and humidity than a bath, but still fill the house with two things you are trying to eliminate. Remember to use that bathroom vent fan to pull any moisture out of the house.
- 10. Seal Leaks Around the House – Leaks not only let in hot air but also bring in humidity. Caulk around leaking windows, replace worn weather stripping around doors and make sure you firmly closed the chimney flue last winter.
- 11. Wash/Dry Clothes and Dishes at Night – Wash your dishes and clothes at night when temperatures are lower. Avoid using the dryer all together if possible, use a clothes line instead. Air drying your dishes reduces the amount of heat and humidity produced as well, remember your dishwasher isn’t vented so all heat and moisture produced stays in the house.
- 12. Change Your A/C Filter – A dirty air conditioner filter reduces the amount of air that passes through your air conditioner, making it less efficient which means your home won’t be as cool.
- 13. Give your AC Some Shade – An air conditioner can perform up to 10% better if shaded. This goes for window units as well as outdoor split systems, but do not interfere with the air flow.
- 14. Keep the Fridge Closed – Standing in front of the open fridge while trying to decide what cold treat may feel great, but the refrigerator motor produces much more heat than an open door lets out.
- 15. Turn a Fan into an Air Conditioner – If you live in an area of the world where humidity is not an issue, you can turn a fan into a form of swamp cooler. To do this place one or two cups of ice or two 2 liter bottles of frozen water in front of the fan. You can refreeze the bottles as needed. Remember to only fill the bottles ¾ full, and place them on something to catch the condensation.
So that’s 15 tips to help make your home more comfortable when temperatures reach record highs. You can also use them when your air conditioner is on the fritz.