Your A/C is your first and last line of defense against the heat of summer. Preparing your AC for the dog days with preventive A/C repair and maintenance can go a long way towards making sure that it uses as little energy as possible. If you’re also looking for other ways to minimize your reliance on that power-hungry appliance, here are a few ideas.
Don’t let in any more heat than you have to
From drapes to shutters, awnings and high-reflectivity film, there’s a lot that you can do to keep the heat outside from entering your home through windows that face the sun. Awnings are one of the best ideas to try. While drapes let heat in and then attempt to trap it close to the window, awnings stop heat from coming in to begin. It is also a good idea to install a couple of ventilation fans at different locations across the house to enable cross-ventilation.
Don’t generate more heat yourself
While it may not be a problem that many talk about, every device and appliance that you run indoors adds to the heat that you feel. From lights to televisions, computers, stoves and dryers, every item in your home that consumes energy puts out heat that eventually adds up. Turning off anything that isn’t in use can certainly bring your indoor temperatures down a few notches. Switching to LEDs can help, as well. These generate far less heat then even CFLs.
It’s also a good idea to put off chores like drying your clothes or running the dishwasher for a time of the day when there isn’t anyone at home, or, at least, to do them at night when they don’t add to the heat coming in from outside. Since the kitchen is a source of a lot of heat, it is also a good idea to close it off, so that air from the kitchen doesn’t get into the rest of the house.
Cool yourself, and not your house
Focusing on staying cool yourself is a better plan than cooling your entire house. From setting the ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise to wearing cooler clothes, switching to cooler, linen bedsheets and supplying yourself plenty of cool drinks, cooling yourself can be easier.
Depending on where you live, there are probably cool winds that blow outside at night, that you just let go to waste. Whenever you can, it may be a good idea to lay out a mattress on the patio. You’ll sleep much better for all the fresh air, too.