Great Ways To Summerize Your Home

Lillian SteinBy Lillian SteinSep 27, 20170

When the seasons change and the temperatures start to dip, we often start putting thought into preparing our homes for the coming winter. Ensuring that windows and doors are properly sealed and that our heating equipment is in good repair are just a couple of the many tasks undertaken to get ready for colder weather. While you may be a pro at winterizing your home, did you know that you also need to “summer-ize” it each year, too?

Utility bills may be higher in winter because it does cost more to heat a home than to cool it, but your monthly utility expenses still see an increase in warmer months that can be better managed by taking the time to get your home and HVAC equipment ready for the long “dog days” of summer.

Some of the things you can do to prepare your home for summer are similar to what you do each winter, like changing the direction on your ceiling fans, closing off vents to unused rooms, and making sure the doors and windows in your home are effectively sealed to prevent the loss of cooled air.

Here are several things you can do to “summer-ize” your home and get ready for warmer weather:

Tip 1

Tip 1

Install blinds or drapes on your windows that do not emit sunlight. This will prevent the sun from increasing the temperature inside your home and will also protect your décor and furnishings from damage due to exposure to UV light. Make sure you keep the blinds or drapes closed during the day or when the sun is shining directly onto specific sides of your home. As a more long-term option, you can plant trees or large shrubs in front of your windows to keep them shaded during the day.

Tip 2

Tip 2

Use a humidifier in the areas of your home that you spend the most time in. A humidifier will increase the moisture level in the ambient air and on your skin, which will create a slight cooling sensation when you are within range of your ceiling fans or other air moving fixtures and appliances. This will help you to feel cooler during the day, which means you won’t have to turn down the temperature setting on your thermostat to feel more comfortable at home.

Tip 3

Tip 3

Inspect the insulation in your home and replace it if necessary. While many people only consider the benefits of insulation during the winter, when they are trying to stay warm and prevent heat loss, insulation also helps in warmer months, too. It keeps the cooled air from escaping and helps to prevent the “oven effect” from occurring in your home, where the interior air is continually reheated by the sun or external temperatures.

Tip 4

Warm air rises and cool air sinks, so try to circulate the cooled air from the lower areas of your home more effectively. This is easiest to do if your ductwork is located in the floors or along the baseboards, because the flow of air from your HVAC system will keep the air moving. If you have a home with ducts in the ceilings, you can use stationary or portable fans to rotate air through the rooms.

Tip 5

Tip 5

Make sure you have a system inspection performed on your HVAC equipment before you begin regular use of the air conditioning for summer. A professional HVAC technician can perform a preventive maintenance inspection and make any repairs necessary to ensure that your system is in the best possible working order. As part of the system maintenance, make sure you also have your ductwork inspected and cleaned and that your HVAC filters are replaced.

Tip 6

Tip 6

If you still have an older thermostat in your home that uses a sliding mercury switch for activation, consider replacing it with a programmable digital thermostat. A programmable thermostat not only gives you more accurate control of the temperature in your home, but it also allows you to set it to start and stop at specific times during the day. This is a great feature for times when you and your family are away during the day and you don’t need the added cost of cooling an empty house.

Tip 7

Tip 7

Rather than heating up your house with the oven when preparing meals, start using an outdoor BBQ more often during the summer. If you do need to cook certain foods, look for oven alternatives like a slow cooker, electric skillet, countertop convection oven, or microwave. You can also prepare a variety of cold meals like salads, sandwiches, pasta, and other items that can be stored for several days at a time before serving, and – if you need to cook with the oven – try to prepare a week’s worth of menu items in advance.

Tip 8

Limit the use of your large appliances to night-time hours whenever possible. Appliances like your washer and dryer or the dishwasher can slightly increase the internal temperature of your home, and the dishwasher increases the humidity to the point where it can offset the benefits of your air conditioner.

Using large appliances at night may also provide you with a small rate decrease, as some utility companies offer lower rates to their customers during off-peak hours. As an alternative, you can also hand-wash your dishes or let them air dry on a drying rack, and hang your clothes on an outdoor clothes line rather than using your clothes dryer.

Tip 9

Tip 9

If the roof of your home can be easily painted, put some serious thought into painting it white or another light color. Lighter colors reflect the sun’s rays while darker ones absorb them, so a light-colored roof will help repel the heat from the sun and keep your home cooler during the day.

Tip 10

Tip 10

Redecorate! Surprisingly enough, your choice of colors and décor items can have an impact on how “cool” you feel in your home. Light colors can not only make a room look bigger and brighter but they can also provide you with a cooling sensation. This applies to your choice of paint colors as well as to the colors of your furniture, rugs, curtains, and other decorative items.

Conclusion

Staying cool during the summer is just as important as staying warm during the winter, so make sure you follow these useful tips to “summer-ize” your home. There are also plenty of other great tips, tricks, and life hacks out there to help you prepare your house for the warm weather and keep your utility bills manageable, so make sure you do all you can to have a happy, healthy, and comfortably cool summer this year.

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