Air conditioning can seem like a godsend during the brutal summer months when even your kids and pets don’t want to go outside. However, running your air conditioner constantly can drive up your electric bill without adequately fighting off extreme temperatures. If you’re moving to a hot environment and want to stay cool without relying on air conditioning, follow these four steps.
Look for Hardwood and Tile Flooring
Your home’s carpeting keeps your feet warm throughout the winter, but the added warmth can be unwelcome during the summer. Many houses in hot climates opt for hardwood or tile floors because they’re much cooler to the touch. When you walk around, the tile will cool the bottoms of your feel and make you feel more comfortable indoors. If you’ve ever seen your pet run into the bathroom or kitchen to cool off after spending some time outside, you know hard surfaces are cooler flooring choices than carpet is.
Paint Your Roof a Lighter Color
Dark roofs naturally absorb the sun’s heat and transfer it into the house from above. That’s why many homeowners opt to install lighter roofs or paint them once they move in. A cool roof can knock off 15 percent of your cooling bill, making this home improvement a wise investment.
Before you grab the brushes and ladders, confirm that painting won’t void your warranty, and ensure that the type of paint you’re using works with the materials on your roof. Shingles take a beating throughout the year, and you want to make sure that the paint can stand up to the elements.
Install Blinds or Shutters
If your windows face south or west, you could be inviting the sun to bake your home throughout the day. Try to find a house that has windows facing away from direct sunlight so that your rooms strike a balance between natural light and comfortable temperatures.
To keep the light out, invest in blinds, curtains, or shutters that you can adjust during the hot summer months. This will prevent the sun from overheating your home and forcing your HVAC system to do even more work.
Adjust the Settings During the Day
If your home has multiple levels or cooling zones, adjust the settings for areas that aren’t used during the day. Heat rises, and cooling an upstairs level can get expensive during the summer months. Instead, encourage kids and pets to stay downstairs, and give your upstairs zone or cooling unit a break.
Turning down your HVAC system when it isn’t in use can extend the life of the system. Between daily breaks and regular HVAC maintenance, you may be able to extend the life of your system for summers to come.
These are just a few ways to stay cool in the summer. Some, like adjusting daytime settings, are easier than others. Every home is different, and you may have to try multiple methods until you can find one that keeps your household cool and comfortable.