5 Great Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer (Without Touching The Thermostat!)

Posted by: Cathy Eng in Tips

For Floridians, a pricey electricity bill during the summer is just par for the course. According to the Florida Public Service Commission, the cost to cool your home can increase 12% for each degree setting below 78 degrees. But, there are relatively simple and effective ways to help keep your AC costs down without having to adjust your thermostat at all.

1. Create shade for your roof. Much of the heat that enters your home from the sun comes in via the roof. Planting shady trees around your home will help block out some of that heat. Head to a nursery and find some strong 15 or 20 ft. shade trees, and within a few years, your trees will provide your home with significant shade from the hot sun.

2. Help your windows keep out heat. Much like heat enters your home through the roof, it also sneaks in through your windows. But, by installing mesh-like solar screens, you can prevent up to 70% of solar energy from entering your home. You may also consider insulated window films, Bermuda shutters or even decorative awnings. These remedies are especially effective for your East and West facing windows since they receive morning and evening sun.

While considering window options, be sure your windows (and doors) are properly caulked to prevent cool air from escaping.

3. Reduce kitchen and other heat from the inside. Your stove and oven create a lot of heat within your home, so be sure to turn on the exhaust fan after cooking. Similarly, taking hot showers creates heat and humidity that you can remove by running the exhaust fan after you’re done. One of the biggest culprits in home heating is the clothes dryer, which you can help by delaying drying your clothes until the sun goes down in the evening.

4. Be good to your AC unit. Keeping your filter clean will facilitate good air movement and proper condensation drainage. Also, if you plant a small shade tree to shelter your air conditioning unit from the sun, you can boost your unit’s efficiency by as much as 10% (U.S. Department of Energy).

5. Make sure you’re running a tight ship inside. Once you have created an efficient, icebox-like environment inside, make sure it stays that way by keeping blinds closed in unused rooms, setting ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise (creating a wind-chill breeze effect) and switching out heat-producing incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs.

Have a cool summer!


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