When I moved to Texas from out-of-state a few years ago, I quickly realized why it seemed as though everyone had a swimming pool at home – it’s a great way to stay cool during long, hot summer days. But no matter which state you live in, after you get tired of going to the pool, the hot temperatures can leave you trying find ways to keep cool and keep your electricity bill low at the same time. Here are some tips to help you beat the heat at home this summer:
- Add Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains can help you save energy and keep out heat the sun’s rays. They’re usually affordable and can be bought at most home improvement or department stores. An extra benefit? Because they help block out so much light, they can help you get a better night’s sleep, too. Alternatively, keeping the blinds closed when you’re not at home can also help keep the heat out and keep temperatures lower.
- Change Your Air Filters
Dirty air filters can restrict air flow, and regularly changing them will prevent your air conditioning from having to work harder to cool down your home. How often you should change your filters depends on several things, like what kind of filters you have, the air quality where you live, etc. If you have pets or severe allergies, it may be in your best interest to change them even more often.
- Switch To CFL Bulbs
CFL bulbs are more environmentally-friendly than incandescent bulbs, and they also give off about 75% less heat, according to energy.gov. CFL bulbs usually tend to cost more up front, but don’t let their higher prices deter you – they typically last 8 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, plus help you cut down on your electricity bills.
- Plant Trees
More trees mean more shade, especially when you plant them near your house. There are a variety of shade trees you can choose from, such as oak and maple trees. You may want to do some research or visit a nursery to learn more about the best types of trees to plant in your area and to help you determine where specifically on your property is a good place to plant seeds.
- Run Your Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise
Don’t want to have to crank up the air conditioning? To maximize the cool air produced by your ceiling fans, make sure that they’re running counterclockwise. Doing so will cause the air to blow directly downward, helping to give whatever room you’re in a wind chill-like effect.
- Change Your Bedding
If you don’t already have one, trade in that cozy down comforter for something less heavy, like a light quilt or blanket. Cotton sheets are also a good way to help keep you comfortable, as they’re more breathable than other types of fabric and don’t lock in as much heat.
- Avoid Running Appliances During The Day
You’d be surprised how much heat can be generated by running the oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer during the day. Try to avoid using those kinds of appliances during the heat of the day and instead, do your baking or dry your laundry at night when the temperature cools down. Electricity rates tend to be lower at night as well.
- Make Home Updates
There are always more long-term solutions, too. Making energy-efficient home updates, like insulating the attic and replacing windows, can sometimes increase a home’s value and resale price. Even though you can’t readily see the updates, you’ll feel the impact of a cooler home.
When it comes to offering smart suggestions for your home, you can count on PrimeLending’s calm, cool and collected home loan experts. Whether you’re ready to buy, renovate or refinance a home, we’re here to help.
From the PrimeLending blog, by Sarah Crandall