It’s the end of August and the summer heat is still on! Matter of fact, we’ve seen record highs in July and August. While Autumn chill will come eventually, we can still practice efficient energy use while the hot days carry on a little longer. Here are some quick tips for keeping it cool while the summer heat is on.
Remember Not to Over-Cool
When the heat index is high, it’s easy to react by turning your thermostat to lower temperatures to compensate. This is not the best strategy, as it forces your system to work harder and raises the cost of your energy use. This is a great time to check on your programmable thermostat’s settings to make sure of the following:
- Make sure that your regular setting is as high as comfortable for your home. Be sure to check on the different zones of your house if you have a multiple-zone system.
- If you have a multiple-zone system, remember to consider high-use areas and low-use areas during the day and program accordingly.
- Make sure that the temperature is higher during times when you are regularly away from home, like work or camp or school if it’s started.
Don’t forget that dirty air filters make your system work harder. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. If you haven’t checked on your air filters this season, now might be a good time to do so.
Maintain Cool-Minded Habits
Utilizing ceiling fans, which can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler thanks to the wind-chill effect, is a great way to enjoy a cool room without lowering the thermostat. Because ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, be sure to turn off the fan when the room is not in use for maximum energy efficiency.
Be mindful of exhaust fans in the kitchen, bath and other areas, which suck out cool air when on for too long. The Department of Energy recommends turning off such exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing, allowing them time to remove hot or humid air before also sucking out cool air.
Managing your sunlight is another quick-win during this time of year. Utilizing your window coverings to block sunlight during the day is key for helping your air conditioning system work at its best. Plan ahead for your day if you know you’ll be away from home.
Utilize Other Cool Spaces
Kids still at home for a few more days before school gets started? School delayed because of the high heat? Remember that there are places that are entertaining and cool or shady right now. Between the wonderful museums and attractions in the area that have their air conditioning on, there are other beautiful outside spaces that offer shade or breeze and plenty to do.
Living in New England means we get all four seasons, each with a lot of good things and each with some inconveniences. While Heat indexes in the 100s are not common here, we can still be prepared and efficient. With these quick tips, you’ll have a happily cool home and can enjoy what remains of the summer season. Before you know it, this blog will be about lowering your heating bills again!
Prime time for solar panel systems is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider adding one to your home. If you’re thinking about a system and wonder how to get started this fall, give us a call. We’ll tell you how your new system can start working for you, even after the weather changes!
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