5 Ways to Keep Your House Cool
Give your HVAC system a break and increase its longevity by making sure your house is set up to be as cool as possible. Besides placing insulation throughout your home, there are other ways to keep you and your house cool. From ceiling fans to attic fans to the proper window treatments, you can lower your energy bills and feel a lot cooler.
1. HVAC Maintenance
Is your HVAC system working properly? Have you had a maintenance check by a qualified, professional HVAC contractor? A maintenance check shouldn't be more than a few hundred dollars in an average-sized home, which makes it well worth the money. When your system isn't functioning properly, it is working extra hard to keep your home cool, which means that you are paying a lot in energy bills.
2. Attic Insulation
Make sure that you have a sufficient amount of attic insulation. A tremendous amount of cool air can be lost as a result of improper insulation. Since insulation works to keep the air in, it's a good idea to have it checked to make sure there is enough for it to do a good job.
3. Attic Ventilation
Wondering why you feel so hot, even with your HVAC system running all day? It could be due to poor attic ventilation. In fact, the air can reach temperatures of up to 170 degrees in a poorly ventilated attic, even when it's just in the 80s outside. Proper attic ventilation includes: installing gable, soffit and roof vents, along with attic fans. An attic fan works by blowing the hot air out.
4. Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans help circulate the cool air from your A/C throughout your home, allowing you to keep your thermostat at a higher temperature and resulting in lower bills and a more comfortable home. If your home gets really warm in the summer, you may want to consider installing a ceiling fan in each room. Beside the cooling benefits, ceiling fans help circulate the air around the home, which is healthy for the entire family. Recent research even suggests that a ceiling fan in a baby's room can help as part of a prevention plan against SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
5. Window Treatments
Blinds, drapes, shutters... whatever your style and design choice is, a window covering is a must to keep your home cool. The strong and powerful sun, especially as it rises and sets, can make your house warm and uncomfortable. Good-quality shades, drapes or blinds can help filter out the sun during those hot periods in the day, thus keeping your house cooler and air conditioning bills lower.
- Install a foil radiant barrier in the attic: Staple it to the underside of the roof rafters, allowing an air space between the foil and the roof sheathing. Place staples about 3 inches apart. Position seams between sheets of foil centered on the rafters and seal the seams with caulk.
- Install inexpensive heat-reflecting film on windows that face the sun: This will keep your house cooler and reduce glare and ultraviolet rays that damage furniture and floors. For hot climates, sun-control types are most effective, but be aware that they will reduce the amount of light that comes in through the windows. In climates where cold seasons are also a problem, choose a combination film (but do not apply it to south-facing windows if you want to benefit from the sun's warmth during winter).
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