The unofficial start of summer has come and gone, and many of us have already begun to rely on our air conditioning to make indoor temperatures more comfortable. For many people, though, the annoyance of constantly walking into too-cold spaces all day, from the grocery store to the office, leaves them tired of AC by the time they arrive home. In an effort to avoid this issue, save on electric bills, and unburden your system from constantly cycling on, we’d like to offer you a two-part series of tips for keeping your home cool and comfortable without your AC.
Tip 1: Make Your Windows Work for You!
Starting with your windows is a smart way to make indoor temperatures more comfortable. As the folks over at Family Handyman note, “roughly 30 percent of unwanted heat comes through your windows.” Slowing that heat transfer is your best line of defense against uncomfortably warm rooms. You are probably already familiar with options such as blackout curtains and cellular shades, both of which can be incredibly effective at keeping the heat out.
Low-E window films are another excellent product to protect your home from the sun’s UV rays. They are cheap and easy to apply, and contain metal or metal oxide to block rays from heating up your space.
With careful attention to how much heat is seeping in through your windows, you can prevent overuse of the AC system in your home.
Tip 2: Install and Use Your Exhaust Fans… Exhaustively.
In warmer weather, your kitchen and your bathroom present two troublesome spots. You have to eat, and you have to shower, and both of these (usually) require you to add heat to your indoor environment. But exhaust fans whisk hot air up and out of the room, allowing your AC system to work more efficiently when it is on, and allowing your rooms to cool down faster when it’s not. When cooking or showering, leave your exhaust fans on for the duration and for twenty minutes or so after you have finished.
If you do not already have exhaust fans in your bathroom and above your stove in the kitchen, now is the time to make the investment.
Check back later this month for more tips on cooling your home down without relying on your AC!