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Staying Cool: 10 Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient During Summer Months

Linda Lombardini

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

Jun 10 5 minutes read

As the summer temps start to climb, the thought of dealing with the heat and escalating energy bills is enough to make anyone sweat. Fortunately, creating a refuge from the heat without draining your wallet is possible. With a bit of local insight and some strategic changes, you can maintain a refreshingly cool home during the dog days of summer. Here’s your guide:

1. Seal Up

Before the summer heat hits its peak, take the time to inspect your home for any air leaks. Seal up gaps around windows, doors, and vents to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from sneaking in. Weather-stripping and caulking are inexpensive solutions that can make a significant difference in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.

2. Upgrade Your Insulation

Good insulation isn’t just for keeping the cold out in winter; it also helps to keep the heat at bay during the summer. Evaluate the insulation in your attic, walls, and floors to ensure it meets recommended standards. Consider adding more insulation if needed, especially in areas prone to heat transfer.

3. Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances

If you’re due for an appliance upgrade, opt for energy-efficient models that are designed to consume less electricity. Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances not only reduces your carbon footprint but also lowers your utility bills in the long run.

4. Harness Natural Ventilation

Take advantage of cool breezes during the early morning and late evening by opening windows strategically to allow cross-ventilation. Installing window fans or attic vents can help facilitate airflow throughout your home, keeping it cool without relying solely on air conditioning.

5. Use Window Treatments

Install curtains, blinds, or shades to block out direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. Light-colored window coverings with reflective backing can help reduce solar heat gain, keeping your home cooler and reducing the need for excessive air conditioning.

6. Optimize Your Thermostat Settings

Programmable thermostats allow you to set temperature schedules based on your daily routine, ensuring that your air conditioning system runs efficiently when needed and takes a break when you’re away or asleep. Aim for a comfortable yet energy-saving temperature range, typically between 76-80°F during the summer months—with the ideal temperature of 78°F.

7. Maintain Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is essential for optimal performance and energy efficiency. Schedule annual professional inspections and cleanings to keep your system running smoothly. Remember to replace air filters regularly to ensure proper airflow and reduce strain on your HVAC unit.

8. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows

If your budget allows, consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings and insulated frames. Energy-efficient windows help to minimize heat transfer, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter while reducing energy costs year-round.

9. Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a cost-effective way to supplement your air conditioning system and improve air circulation throughout your home. Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise during the summer months to create a cooling breeze that can make you feel up to 4 degrees cooler without lowering the thermostat.

10. Utilize Shade and Landscaping

Planting trees strategically around your home can provide natural shade and reduce solar heat gain, helping to keep your home cooler during the summer months. Additionally, installing awnings or pergolas over windows and outdoor living spaces can offer relief from the sun’s rays and reduce the need for excessive air conditioning.

In conclusion...

By implementing these energy-efficient strategies, you can keep your home cool and comfortable throughout the summer while saving money on your energy bills. Staying cool doesn’t have to mean sacrificing sustainability; with a few simple adjustments, you can enjoy a comfortable living environment while minimizing your environmental impact. So, beat the heat this summer by making your home a model of energy efficiency!

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