Keeping the Heat Outside in the Summer
As the mercury rises during hot summer months, everyone wants to be able to come home to a comfortably cool house in the evening. But nobody’s excited about the prospect of a fearsome electric bill at the end of the month.
Luckily, you don’t have to choose between teeth-grinding air conditioning expenses and a highly affordable inferno. Consider some of these measures to summer-proof your house and ensure those balmy temperatures don’t make unwelcome visits.
1) Use the Right Roofing
No part of your house is feeling more of the sun’s rays than the roof, so it stands to reason that roofing materials can make a big difference in your home’s interior temperature. There are a variety of roof types that do a respectable job of fighting off the heat, including slate tile, rubber membrane roofing, terra cotta and green roofing (which is made of actual live vegetation). And if you’ve ever worn light colors on a hot day in an attempt to keep cool, you should know you can apply the same principle to your house – studies have shown that just painting your roof white can lower AC usage while also benefiting the environment.
2) Don’t Overlook Your Outlets
OK, you know the basics here. You probably take care not to leave the lights on for too long in the summer, since they cause the mercury to creep up over time. You know the effect the stove and, especially, the oven can have on your home’s temperature, even after the cooking process is finished (luckily, there are plenty of ways around this particular problem). But the truth is, every electronic device in your house generates heat. So power down – or better yet, unplug – the TV and computer, and limit use of the washer and dryer to the cooler parts of the day.
3) Throw Some Shade
Put nature to work for you by planting trees that will cast shadows on your house; the more heat they block, the less you have to put up with. And they don’t just block heat – they absorb it, meaning plants and shrubs can have the same effect. Sunflowers, corn and mimosa trees are all good examples. Another great option is awnings, which can cut heat gain by 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows.
4) Practice Proper Care & Feeding of Your Fans
If you want your air conditioner to take care of you, you need to take care of your air conditioner. If you haven’t replaced your air filter for the summer, make sure you do that; it’s easy to forget. It’s also worth your time to clean around the AC unit and vents. If you have ceiling fans, take a look at the base of each to find the switch that determines which way the blades turn; in the summer, you’ll want the fan to be rotating counter-clockwise, which forces air downward to keep you cool.
5) Apply Window Tinting Film
Let the light in, but tell it to check the heat and sun damage at the door. Tinted window film can block up to 76% of solar heat from making its way into the house, making it an easy, convenient way to keep the house comfortable – and the air conditioning costs way down. Bonus points: Residential window tinting film also blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays, which means that, in addition to blocking the heat, it spares furniture, artwork and more from fading and other unsightly effects. And it accomplishes all this with very little visual difference to the windows themselves.
Interested in learning more about window tinting film options for your house? Contact SolarTex Inc. today, and we’ll show you how we can help you keep your home comfortable when the weather gets warm!