Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer
- Provide effective shade for east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evening on hot days.
- Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
- You can help get rid of unwanted heat through ventilation if the temperature of the incoming air is 77 F or lower. (This strategy works most effectively at night and on cooler days.) A window should be open in each room. Interior doors must remain open to allow air flow.
- Use ceiling fans to increase comfort levels at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range for light clothing in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A sow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.
- Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
- Seal all air conditioner ducts, and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
- Keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees F or higher if using ceiling fans. Don’t air-condition unused rooms.
- Maintain your air conditioners properly to maximize efficiency.
- Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50 percent.
- Close south and west-facing curtains during the day for any window that gets direct sunlight. Keep these windows closed, too.
- Apply low-e films.
- Provide shade for your room A/C, or the outside half of your central A/C if at all possible. This will increase the unit’s efficiency by 5 percent to 10 percent.
- Clean your A/C’s air filter every month during cooling season. Normal dust build-up can reduce air flow by 1 percent per week.
- Turn off your A/C when you leave for more than an hour.
Try a few of these ~ your bank account may thank you!
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