Summer is officially here, with temperatures having already pushed past the 30 C. mark in our area, and more hot weather to come. We’ve had our share of rain recently, so for most the heat, when it comes, is a very welcome reprieve. However, that doesn’t mean we want our homes to be sweltering all the time.
There are some simple ways you can lower the heat in your home without breaking the bank. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to keep your HVAC system running efficiently is simply to replace the air filter a couple of times a year. Many ignore this simple step and the filters become clogged with particles and debris, which slows air flow down, thus taking longer to heat and cool your home. This, of course, costs more. Change the filter in the spring and the fall.
Use you air conditioner efficiently. When the heat spikes, don’t overreact and crank up the air conditioner. Settle on a reasonable temperature and let your body adjust to it, which saves on wear and tear and saves a bit of money. Speaking of air conditioners, get yours serviced from time to time so that it remains in top working order.
Install a smart thermostat. Thermostats that can detect motion in your home will help regulate when air conditioning—or heating—comes on or off; there’s little point cooling (or heating) the house excessively when no one is home. The result is that your HVAC system works less and saves you money.
Create an air current through your home. Open a door and a window so that the air pressure can balance out and create a draft. On the other hand, if you use an efficient air conditioner, keeping the windows and doors closed is the best option for maintaining a cool temperature.
Do your laundry in the late evening, and turn on the dishwasher before you go to bed. All the appliances in our homes typically generate heat when running, so operating them at night prevents adding to the heat that the daytime brings.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the idea of eating meals that take less time in the oven or on the stove top. And remember that cooking on the barbecue means no heat going on inside your kitchen.
Unplug what you can; anything plugged in produces heat. Unplug any and all devices you don’t constantly use.
Keeping ceiling fans on while you’re at home is a good idea. Many models come with switches that can adjust whether the air is pulled up or pushed down depending on the climate. Remember that it’s down for summer (counter-clockwise), and up for winter, which helps circulate the warm air that rises to the ceiling, and can actually save as much as 10 per cent on your heating bill.
Keep the blinds and curtains closed during the day and open at night. This will prevent your house from overheating while you’re at work. Not using some rooms? Keep the doors, and vents, closed so that the precious cool air permeates only the spaces you are in. And if you’ve ever felt the need to switch from incandescent lightbulbs to LEDs, now is the time.