Like most Florida residents at this point in the summer, you’re probably trying to keep cool. No doubt your air conditioner is hard at work. But is cranking up the A/C really working? And is it the only way to keep the heat out? In fact, there are other ways to keep your cool. Let’s look at four ways to help you keep your chill this summer.
Minimizing the amount of direct sunlight entering your home is an obvious solution, but what might not be as obvious is the ways in which this can be done. Blinds and curtains are, of course, the most common first line of defense, and while this is still a perfectly good solution, there is more you can do. Consider shutters, either colonial or bahama. In addition to their many benefits, such as hurricane protection and aesthetic value, they’re also an excellent way to gain more control over how much sun enters your space. Enjoy the cooler morning or evening hours by keeping shutters open. During the hotter periods, simply close them. Or, while out of the house, keep shutters closed so you can come home to a cool and relaxing retreat.
There’s no question about the necessity of running your air conditioner, but did you know there are ways you could be helping its efficiency? Airflow is of utmost importance! If you aren’t already doing so, make the most of fans. Ceiling fans and box fans are immensely helpful at keeping air circulating, but exhaust fans are also useful, though often go unused. Stove fans and bathroom fans can both be kept running to pull out rising heat.
Another often overlooked block to airflow is interior doors—keep them open! If there is a room of your house that is rarely used, you could keep that closed to focus cool air in the occupied areas of your house. But in the rooms most used, keep those doors open as much as possible to let cool air move through.
Finally, be sure to change A/C filters regularly.
A lot of people fail to realize a major source of added heat in the home—electronics and appliances. Dryers, ovens and stoves, televisions, even certain types of lightbulbs can put out a lot of heat. Though these things are necessities, it is possible to minimize their effects. Use dryers at night rather than during the day, or consider making the most of Florida’s greatest natural resource—sunshine! When the weather is good, dry clothes the old fashioned way and put up a clothes line. Turn off the T.V., give the oven and stove a break, and plan to grill out more often. Not only will you be making the most of your summer, you’ll keep the heat where it belongs—out of your house. And finally, saving energy will also most likely help keep your home cooler. Turn off appliances and electronics when not in use, and switch to CFL bulbs instead of incandescent.
Another often overlooked home cooling solution is houseplants. Planting trees or putting up vine-covered awnings around windows can, of course, offer needed shade. But indoor plants have their benefits as well. Not only can they be used as shade against direct sun, houseplants can actually decrease the temperature by as much as ten degrees. For a more in-depth look at the benefits of indoor plants, see our next post!