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keep house cooler and save on energy costs

How to keep your house cool in summer heat

                       Protect your home and wallet from summer heat

As temperatures reach their peak this summer, we have the luxury of escaping indoors to air-conditioned comfort. Unfortunately, our home’s exterior isn’t as lucky.  It must bear the brunt of summer’s heat and humidity.  Because of this, the inside of our home absorbs added heat, causing our air conditioner to work harder to keep the home at a comfortable temperature, greatly increasing our energy costs.

That’s why, it’s important to take measures that can keep your home as cool as possible.  Here are a few tips that can help:

 

  • Dealing with sunlight

Keep your windows, blinds and curtains closed on hot, sunny days to keep your house from heating up. Your air conditioner will have to work a lot harder to lower the temperature if you allow the sun to heat up your house.

An even better option would be to add solar screens to windows facing the most sun.  Solar screens can offer temperature reduction of up to 15 degrees and savings of up to 25-30% of the cooling portion of electric energy costs.  They also offer UV protection, eliminating fading and discoloration of indoor materials.

 

  • Use your fan along with your AC

By turning on a fan in the room that you are in, you can have your thermostat set one or two degrees higher and not even notice the difference.

 

  • Proper attic ventilation

Temperatures in the attic can easily exceed 150 degrees F.  This heat can penetrate your ceilings, contributing to higher cooling costs.  Improper attic ventilation can also accelerate the aging process by decreasing the life of your roof shingles, ruining your attic insulation, damaging roof framing members, and contributing to mold growth.

Proper ventilation should provide continuous air flow, entering from the soffit vents (under roof overhangs and exiting from roof or ridge vents at the top.  This process happens naturally through convection.  As the warm air rises, it draws cooler air from the soffit vents.  Because of this process, half of the vented area of your roof should be high and the other half low.  Consult with a qualified roofing company if you believe you are in need of proper ventilation.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Landscaping

Strategically placed trees and shrubs can help cool a home.  Place deciduous trees and shrubs on your home’s east and west sides to block sun from entering your home. Also, plant leafy ground covers to cool the area around your home. Is your AC unit in direct sun?  Planting a shade tree or bush near the unit (be careful not to clog the unit intake by planting too close) can reduce the amount of energy required to cool your home by 10 percent.

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