Ten great tips to beat the heat

Although summer seems to come slowly in some parts of the world, being prepared is not a bad thing. Because temperatures will eventually rise, without a climate control system your house, the inside temperatures are apt to soar.

When it comes to cooling your house, and avoiding a horrendous energy bill, here are some tips and tricks to help chill you out, despite heat or humidity.

1. Clean your air filter

And if cleaning won’t help anymore, change it. It’ll keep the air cleaner, your home safer, and help to save energy. By reducing the obstructions to air flow, the cooling performance will also improve. Filters should be maintained every three month, and replaced if necessary.

2. Close the blinds

By blocking the sunlight with blinds, curtains or drapes, you’ll prevent the inside air from heating up so rapidly. Windows will allow sunshine to heat the air in the house, and the glass will also act as an insulating layer, so by blocking the light..the air will remain cooler for longer.

3. Cleaning the AC Unit

Similar to the air filtration system inside the house, weeds, vines and other debris can clog the A/C unit, from the outside. Keeping it clear of these is easy to do, so it’s one of your jobs in between the professional maintenance. You don’t need to check it as often as the filters, but once before the autumn or wet season and once near mid-spring should suffice.

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4. Set your Thermostat Higher

Trying to cool your house faster by lowering the thermostat wont have a great effect on the temperature, but you’ll notice the change on the energy bill. Keeping it at a consistent temperature will be much more effective. You wont be able to notice a huge difference between 75 °F and 78 °F, but it’ll affect the bill again.

5 and 6. Don’t change temperatures unnecessarily

Because of the location, a cellar or basement will be naturally be cooler. So don’t waste cold air by directing it into the basement. Shut those vents, and you’ll have more cold air available for the rest of the house.

Just as with your basement, you may not need to cool other rooms as much as your living areas. Partially close the air vents in these rooms for example: the garage, north facing rooms, or guest rooms. This may save a little energy as well, as it’ll redirect the cold air where it is needed most.

7. Keep all vents unblocked

Blocking any vents will increase the air pressure in the system, and reduce cooling efficiency. Shutting the vents partially is not problematic, but placing large bulky furniture over the vent is very problematic. Also, removing the dust from the outlets will allow air to flow much more efficiently through the house, just as with the AC and air filtration systems.

8. Lessen cook times for meals

When you have to cook something for a long time in the oven or on the stovetop, it’ll heat up your house as well. To avoid this, focus on dishes with a shorter cooking time or try fresh or raw foods.

9. Help the A/C by opening windows

Opening your windows in the early morning to let cool air in, and using ceiling fans throughout the day to force cool air down, will help your A/C system. A little engine to turn the fans uses far less energy than the cooling system. The fans will also make you feel cooler.

10. Don’t overexert yourself outside

The last tip may not cool your house any faster or cheaper, but it’ll help you personally. By doing exercises or yard work in the early morning, while it’s still colder outside, you can remain comfortable during the heat of the day, without needing to drop the thermostat to deal with an overheated body.

Photo: AP Photo/The Press, Rex Larsen
Photo: AP Photo/The Press, Rex Larsen
 
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