Get Your Home Cooler This Summer without Cranking the A/C

An endless night, tossing and turning in a hot, humid room. Sound familiar? Air conditioning systems can be a crucial cooling resource in western Massachusetts summers. Studies show that most people sleep better in a cool room. But energy bills can add up, especially with an older, less efficient system. How can you get your home cooler without cranking up the A/C?

Here are some tips that can help knock a few degrees off a home’s temp during sweltering summers.

Indoor Tips

  • Keep your blinds closed during the day. Up to 30% of unwanted heat comes from your windows. Closing blinds during the warmer hours can reduce the indoor temp by 20% and save you up to 7% on energy bills. Lighter-colored blinds absorb less heat. Or go all the way and invest in blackout curtains.
  • Open windows at night. If nights drop into the mid-70s or lower where you live, cracking the windows at night will bring some quick relief. If you have a two-story home, crack a ground floor window, then fully open an upper floor window on the opposite side of the house, with a fan pointed outside, to get a tunnel of cooler air moving through the house.
  • Run appliances at night. This includes laundry and washing machines, as well as ovens and stoves, all of which throw off heat. Try grilling on the patio during the summer.
  • Program the air conditioner. A programmable A/C can help your system maintain efficiency. Set it around 75 degrees when you’re home, 80 when you’re away, and cooler for sleeping. It may take a few days for your body to adjust to these warmer temps, but it can save you tons on your energy bill.
  • Change A/C filters regularly. Every 4–6 weeks during the warmest months is recommended, to keep your system running efficiently and supplying cleaner air.
  • Run ceiling fans. Circulating air has a cooling effect, and fans burn less energy than an air conditioner. Try putting a large bowl of ice in front of a boxed fan for another cooler solution.
  • Change out your lights. Compact fluorescent bulbs burn less energy and throw off less heat than incandescent bulbs, which often burn out more quickly, too. 
  • Change your sheets. Cotton or specialty wicking sheets can keep you dry and cool on warm nights.

Outdoor Tips

  • Plant greenery and shade trees. Though they take time to mature, a well-placed tree can provide considerable shade to your house, as can tall shrubs and vines.
  • Add awnings, shades or shutters. Though sometimes costly, they can pay for themselves over time in energy bill savings.
  • Re-paint or re-roof. These aren’t the cheapest options for cooling your home. But a lighter-colored exterior paint, or a roof of slate, concrete, clay or other tiles can ward off summer heat.

For sounder sleep this summer, get started with one of our Peak Performance service plans. You’ll get annual 19-point inspections and cleanings from a Girard service tech, discounts on repair parts and preferential service in times of emergency. Don’t suffer long nights in heatwaves. Give us a call.