Beating the Summer Heat and Your Summer Energy Bill!
Ah, summer. Summer time is a favorite time for year many of us, enjoying one of our 11,843 lakes with boating, fishing, swimming and everything in between. We have grad parties, BBQ’s, family reunions, and don’t forget America’s favorite pastime, baseball. Without a doubt maintaining a consistent indoor summer time temp and humidity level is our season’s greatest challenge.
Of course today’s modern air conditioning systems have certainly made the home a much cooler, more comfortable place and with the simple adjustment of the thermostat we can have as much central air as we like. It has become standard on virtually every home built today to include central air. We rely on central air to keep us cool and comfortable but it also provides us with a healthy indoor environment referred to as IAQ. Homes with elevated humidity levels can harbor mold, meldew and fungus of many kinds and give our homes an unwanted odor. High humidity can even cause damage to the structure itself.
Well here a some ways to keep cool during the summer heat and help save energy as well.
First- it starts with you!
Take care of you first. By keeping well hydrated, hydration to the body is a great tool for keeping on top of your comfort. We’ve all heard the stats, well its true. Drinking adequate water truly does help keep us comfortable. Eat smart, good quality proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables are much easier for the body to digest. Don’t eat a big heavy Sunday diner during a heat wave. Small fresh meals keep us more comfortable.
Dress for success- Light color clothing reflects more sunlight. Also cotton and other natural fibers will keep you cooler and a looser fit aides in the comfort factor.
Shade, have shade on your home to help lower direct sunlight amounts, trees, umbrellas, shade canopys, overhangs and interior curtains all help keep it cooler.
Around the House- Kitchens, the hub of the home can be a contributing factor to overall home comfort. Try to keep cooking times and intensity to a minimum, outdoor cooking can eliminate as much as 50,000 BTU’s from your home. Kitchen ventilation is a must, exhaust heat and humidity at its source. Lighting can also add a great load to the home as well use natural lighting during your daytime periods and try to stick with task lighting when needed.
Fans- A great tool Bath fans are very important to controlling humidity levels. Bath fans should be on timers. Timers allow the fan to run enough to exhaust heat and humidity from the space but then shut off automatically. Furnace fan is another way to help keep us cool. Running the fan on the furnace can lower the homes temp by as much as 2 degrees, and also helps with indoor air quality.
Hi wall returns, though this technique is not widely used in the industry it is one of the first improvements I recommend to the customer. Hi wall return gives the system the ability to remove the warm air out of the space and bring it back to the furnace to be conditioned. It is a true game change for providing maximum comfort in the cooling season.
Equipment- of course the most important piece of the puzzle. Equipment should be serviced annually to ensure maximum performance. You should make certain of a new filter at the furnace for every season change. Having the furnace and indoor coil serviced is a great way to ensure trouble free operation. And don’t forget about the outdoor part of the system the condenser. This uses outdoor air in the cooling process so keeping the coil clean here is also an important step. Have the condenser serviced to ensure it is clean and maintain proper Freon levels.
Consistentcy- we all have cruise control on our vehicles. We should also try to utilize this in our homes heating and cooling as well. Keeping the space a consistent temp is a must for maximum performance. Set it and forget it. Pick your temp and leave it at this setting. Constantly adjusting the thermostat can be a costly choice. Also don’t overdue it with the programming feature. You should only setback one to two degrees. Any more than this and your system will have to work overtime to catch up.