Most of us who live in Texas have felt temperatures hit the triple digits on more than one occasion. We crank up the A/C but we really feel the burn when we open our electric bills. Americans spend more than $15 billion each year on air conditioning. So let’s learn how to keep our houses cool without racking up energy bills.
Lighten the Load
The less heat that builds up in our homes, the less we need to cool them. Begin with a few simple changes:
- Close windows and shutters in the morning before the heat, and open them at night.
- Turn off lights when not in use, especially non-fluorescents.
- Unplug electronics when not in use. Surprisingly, most electronics generate heat even if they are off.
- Do laundry and cooking during morning and night, the cooler parts of the day, or pre-cook meals. Pre-making grains and veggies in the evening can save time and prevent tons of generated heat.
Maintaining Your Cool
Now, you want to make it harder for heat to get in. Fortunately for you, our homes are the most energy-efficient on the market! For those who haven’t made the switch to Chesmar’s MPG homes, add insulation—you’ll be much more comfy, and your bills will be lower year-round. Many homes have insulation that’s too thin for their needs. Increasing insulation levels will make a sizeable difference. Seal and insulate the ducts. Stop cold air leaking into your home by sealing the parts between the ducts with sealant and wrapping them in insulation. Replace an old fridge with an efficient modern one. New fridges give off less heat, and your utility company may give rebates for new fridges. If you’re going to re-roof or paint your home, use bright colors to reflect the heat of the day. Metal roofs reflect the sun and keep insides cool.
Keep your house cool naturally with a few tricks from Mother Nature namely, shadows and wind. When the air is colder outside, just opening windows to form a line of wind in the house has a natural draft effect. For the best kind of breeze, open windows up high and down low, which pulls the cooler air in, and releasing the warm air out the heights. Installing healthy shading also helps reduce indoor temperatures. In theory, you could cut A/C bills by up to 50 percent with proper shade. Landscaping helps greatly with this, including hedges, trees and trellises, awnings, and canopies. Arrange the landscape to block the most sun – in the Northern Hemisphere, that’d be southwest of the home, for blocking those wretched afternoons.
Ceiling Fans Are Your Best Friends
When the ambient winds aren’t enough, you can make it blow with a dedicated group of fans. They eat less power than A/C units, and they might be all your home is missing. Remember, though: fans cool people, not rooms. When the air moves over our bodies, sweat evaporates and body heat is blown away. Arrange your fans so that they’ll hit as many people as possible with sweet, cool air, and don’t leave fans running in empty rooms. Depending on your home and situation, tons of different kinds of fans could help keep you comfortable. Ceiling fans, a classic trademark of Southern life, were designed to protect whole rooms. Other types of fans can be moved wherever you need them.
Bring Out The Big Guns
In the worst summers, you’ll need to use an air conditioner, no doubt about it. Keep it off/higher when you’re out and about, since there’s no point wasting money on an empty house. If you want homes that automatically cool when you’re on the way home, “smart” thermostats like Nest can turn the A/C on while you’re commuting back to the house. We hope these tips serve you well in your quest for cool this summer.
Learn more about how Chesmar’s MPG Homes protect you from the heat and costly utility bills!
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