Summer's Here! 06/21/2012

Yesterday was the first official day of summer and topped out in town at 97 degrees, and  we are expecting temps in the low to mid 100s today.  Now we don’t expect those temps to become the custom this early in the summer, but now is a good time to review hot weather protocol.

Keeping It Cool Inside

Certainly cranking up the ac will keep the indoors frosty this summer, but there are ways to keep window or central ac units humming more efficiently helping to keep costs down.  Draw the curtains in the daytime, especially on southern and western exposures or any window that gets direct sunlight.  Wait until evening to do heat generating activities like: dishwashing, laundry, and vacuuming.  Do not run a dehumidifier while the ac is on because it will increase the cooling load for the ac unit making it work harder.  Do basic maintenance on your ac unit like changing the filters; every month for fiberglass filters or every 3 months for pleated filters (check with the manufacturer for you filter if you are unsure).  We have most sizes available and if we don’t have yours in stock we will special order it for you.  Providing shade for your ac unit will also help to keep it working more effectively.  Most people are comfortable when the thermostat is set between 73-78 degrees; this can be increased to 82 degrees when air conditioning is combined with the use of ceiling fans.  Turning off lights, appliances and the ac if they are not going to be used for more than an hour and switching from halogen/incandescent bulbs to CFL or LED bulbs will also help save energy and money.

 No ac? It will be harder to keep the house cool or at least comfortable, but not impossible.  Keep the house closed up tight during the day, and open it back up at night when the temperature and humidity are lower.  Use fans in the windows on one side of the house blowing out to help draw air through the home- all the windows and interior doors must be open for this to work effectively.  Use a dehumidifier to help keep the humidity down and light colored blinds to reflect sunlight away from the house during the day.  Room fans will not lower the temperature of the room that they are in, so leaving them on while you are not in the room will not help.  But an oscillating fan can be a lifesaver in hot weather in a room that you are trying to work or sleep in!  


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