Even if you love summer, the heat can become oppressive. Fortunately, you can do many things to stay cool and survive the hot temperatures. These 9 tips can help you stay cooler, so why not give a few a try?
Drinking plenty of fluids offers many benefits, and lowering your body temperature is one of them. When you perspire, you lose valuable moisture needed to cool your body.
Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating liquids such as alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine.
Summer is salad time, and with good reason. Light foods digest easily and don’t leave you feeling sluggish in the heat.
Eat plenty of watery fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, iceberg lettuce, celery, radishes, tomatoes, green peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapefruit are all great choices.
Block the Sun
Don’t open windows when the temperature climbs above 77F and close your blinds and curtains. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this can cut heat by as much as 45 percent.
Equip west-facing windows with roller shades, mini-blinds, or insulated curtains to chop up to 20 percent off your cooling bills.
Care for You’re A/C
A well-maintained air conditioning unit cools better and uses less electricity. Have your system inspected for leaks before the summer season. They can decrease efficiency by as much as 15 percent.
During the summer, clean or replace the filter monthly. If you use a window-mounted air conditioner, seal the cracks between the unit and window to eliminate heat-intrusion.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are very affordable and easy to install. Just pop off the cover of your old thermostat, disconnect the leads (don’t worry, it is low-voltage), unscrew the mounting screws and then reverse the process to install the new unit.
Program these thermostats to run your air conditioner during the summer and heating unit during the winter. Some units offer four cycles, while others allow daily programming. The thermostat cycles units on when you need them and off when you don’t. However, you can manually override the temperature too.
A programmable thermostat can reduce your cooling bill by as much as 20 percent without sacrificing comfort. Considering they’re so affordable, it’s silly not to buy one.
Use Fans Properly
Fans are very inexpensive to operate and they can reduce the heat in a room by up to 6 percent. A ceiling fan with the blades spinning counter-clockwise works well in frequently-used rooms. A motion-detector switch can make a fan even more affordable since it only runs when you enter the room.
If your area cools off to under 70F in the evening, a whole house fan is a good option. A mid-range fan costs around $450 installed. It draws cool air in from the outside and vents hot air out through the attic. They’re very energy-efficient and usually come equipped with a variable speed switch and sometimes a timer. The greatest benefit is they can reduce your cooling bill by as much as half.
Take Advantage of the Evening
It’s already hot, so don’t add to the problem. Try grilling outdoors rather than using kitchen appliances such as the stove, oven, or even the microwave.
If you need to do laundry or want to use the dishwasher, do it in the evening when the temperature’s lower. Televisions and computers produce heat too, so why not sit outside and enjoy time with friends and family instead?
Switch Light Bulbs
The light bulbs you choose to use in your home can affect the temperature. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents or LEDs. They use far less energy and emit up to 90 percent less heat.
Defeat Attic Heat
The attic of your home can reach 150F and this heat can leach into your living space if your home isn’t properly insulated and vented. Otherwise, you could pay up to 40 percent more for cooling your home.
The U.S. Department of Energy offers a map to help you determine the correct amount of insulation you need in your home based on your region. Seal any gaps around plumbing stacks, vents, and recessed lights before you insulate.
Gable vents can reduce the attic temperature by about 10 degrees. A ridge-and-soffit ventilation system can reduce it by 100 degrees, but it is more expensive. When it’s time to reroof your home, choose lighter shingles. They reflect light, reduce heat, and prolong shingle life too.
These 9 tips can help you beat the heat and stay cool this summer and if you have any renovations planned this summer, like having a central air conditioning system installed throughout your home, make sure that you contact your insurance agent to review your insurance coverage, first. They’ll review your homeowners insurance coverage options with you to ensure that you always have the right amount of coverage.