At each season change, there are things we need to do to prepare our home. So as we are approaching summer, here are some things you might want to do to prepare your home for those hot days and nights. Yes, some items cost but others don’t. Just do what you can afford. Every little bit can help.
Schedule a check up with a HVAC company. We always get a HVAC check up prior to winter and summer. There is a cost for this service call and any possible parts needed. The service rep will clean and give your A/C an inspection and do whatever it might need. For instance, if it is dirty, it might be running more causing your electric bill to be higher., and you sure don’t want that electric bill to go up.
Here are some others things that you can do. 1) Change your filters at least once a month. 2) Turn your thermostat over to Cool and test the system by turning the temperature down (if it does not come on or is not cooling – call your HVAC company) Doing this early, might help you avoid the emergency call or a longer response time because everyone has waited until it’s hot. 3) Air ducts may need testing for leaks and might need to be sealed. Do you have enough attic insulation? Windows and doors might need caulking and weather stripping to keep the cool air inside. 4) Close the blinds or curtains to keep the sun out. 5) Consider installing ceiling fans if you don’t already have them. The cost on these have some down tremendously. 6) Consider replacing your old thermostat with a new, set-back programmable one. 7) Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight. 8) Avoid unnecessary trips in and out of the house, especially on those extremely hot days. Heat and humidity come in each time you open the door. 9) Ventilate the attic. When the outside temperature is in the 90's, your attic can easily be 50 degrees more than the outside temperatures.. 10) Set lamps, TV sets, and other heat-producing devices away from the air conditioner thermostat. Heat from the lamp could cause the thermostat to read higher temperature and keep the air conditioner running more than necessary. 11) If you are building or adding on a porch, extend that roof. It can help on the sun coming into your home. 12) For the outside, on the porch you might want to add misters. And in the garage, you might want to add a cooling fan that connects to a water hose.
And last but not least here are some additional tips to get you through the hot summer. Always have a pitcher of icy water ready in your refrigerator (good to add fresh fruit or cucumbers to the pitcher). Letting the water run from the tap until it turns cold is wasteful and inefficient. Water those gardens efficiently, preferably in the mornings. Arrange your sprinklers carefully so that only your plants are watered, not the driveway, sidewalk or street. Change out those light bulbs. Compact florescent light bulbs are more energy efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs and produce 75 percent less heat. Just some quick tips to help you Stay cool!
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