As August is upon us the searing heat is motivating us to really get the most out of our air conditioning units. As the temperatures rise and the sun bears down on the desert floor of the Tri-Cities, we are all looking for as much relief as possible from our HVAC systems.
But how do we keep our homes cool and avoid “hot spots” that work against the cooling effect? We also eye our utility bills for cost savings as the air conditioners are set for maximum output during these mid-summer heat spells.
The heat can even negatively impact our behavior, as noted by LiveScience – a science news website – which points out that “hot and especially humid weather is known to be associated with increases in aggression, as well as lower your overall mood.”
Here is a unique opportunity to learn from experts in the HVAC field and others about how we can optimize the use of our AC units to keep our homes cool and comfortable. They offer helpful and simple recommendations that we can immediately put into effect that will leave our homes cooler while moderating our electricity bills.
Best Tips for Keeping Your House Cool in the Summer
“My tip would be to keep your shades/blinds/curtains closed to keep out some of the solar gains,” says Tom Baxter of Trane, a manufacturer of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems and building management systems and controls.
Glenn Frank, with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, echoed Baxter’s comments and added tips regarding AC unit settings, saying “Adjust blinds to keep direct sunlight out, allow air handler fan to run on continuous mode and finally don’t set the temperature too far offset point when not home. It takes less energy to maintain a constant temperature versus trying to bring it down quickly.”
Here is a different perspective to this question, as posed by Don Vandervort of HomeTips, a Web home improvement site. “Keep the air moving in your home. Air movement increases evaporation from your skin, making a room feel from 2 to 3 degrees cooler than it actually is.”
Vandervort adds, “Traditionally, this has been the job of fans: ceiling fans, portable fans, and whole-house fans. But don’t forget your home’s heating/cooling system. Set the system’s thermostat to ‘Fan Only’ and the system will move the air throughout your house without running the AC.”
Here is another suggestion that emphasizes a practical way to keep our homes cooler with less AC output. “Keep your air conditioner clean and remember to change your air filter regularly,” says Reuben Saltzman of Structure Tech, a home inspection company based in Minnesota.
This next recommendation focuses on ceiling insulation. “My number one tip for keeping a house cool in summer is getting high R-value ceiling insulation,” says Kara of The Flawed Consumer, an Australian Personal Finance Blog.
Dan Kern of Smart Energy cautioned against striving to keep your home too cool and seeing your utility bill soar. “Don’t over cool,” Kern says. “Every degree below 78 degrees adds between 6 percent and 8 percent to your electricity bill. Change or clean your filters regularly which helps reduce energy usage, is good for your air conditioner, and your health.” Smart Energy is an independent energy supplier committed to providing customers with reliable electricity from 100% renewable resources.
Another HVAC expert weighed in on the perspective of how windows and doors can play vital roles in home comfort and coolness.
“If you have windows or doors that get a lot of sunlight throughout the day you can keep your home much cooler by installing blinds that reflect the sun’s heat,” says Edward Humbert of Complete Heating and Air, a Pacific Northwest Residential HVAC company. Humbert continues, “You can even apply reflective window tint on those pesky heat transferring windows and it will keep you much more comfortable while saving you some money at the same time.”
Finally, James Hills, of Man Tripping, a Men’s Lifestyle Blog, talks about preventive measures to enhance the effectiveness of air conditioning. “Do any DIY updates BEFORE it gets hot. For instance, caulking leaks, etc. Not only will this allow you to avoid working in the heat but high-temperature days can result in flexing of materials that may not give you a perfect seal once humidity and heat go back down.”
Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for an HVAC Install or Repair
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We invite you to contact Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning by calling (509) 396-COLD (2653).