Everyone wants to be comfy, and everyone wants to save money. This guide is going to help you do both. Most of the information in this guide is for people who have central air, or at least a window AC unit. How you’re surviving an Indianapolis summer without AC is hard to say, but more power to you!
No, it’s not the sequel to Nolan’s hit film about dream-hopping thieves; it’s your ability to feel temperature. For some people, 75 degrees with a breeze might feel cool, while others might find it just right, or too hot.
That means that keeping your house cool isn’t about making your house reach a certain temperature – it’s about making sure everyone in your house feels comfortable. Our advice here is simple – watch what you wear, what you do, and what you eat. When you’re sipping hot coffee and working out, you’re going to be hot. In the summertime, opt to wear shorts and a t-shirt, or other items of clothing that don’t cover your whole body. You should also try to wear light, breathable fabrics.
Drink lots of water, and try to eat cool foods. When you’re working on something at home that requires a lot of physical labor, try to do it early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is down and your home won’t be quite so hot.
You don’t have to be Bill Gates to manage windows. The majority of heat gain in any building is as a result of solar energy making its way into your home from your windows. While new, highly insulated windows can help with this, you might not consider them cost-effective (though they can help a home’s resale value).
Instead, opt for blackout curtains. They’ll block the heat and light from the sun and keep your home cooler. You should also be aware that keeping your windows closed during the day helps keep heat at bay; this goes double if you’re using an air conditioner.
At night, people without AC units should open their windows, only to close them again in the morning to insulate against the sun. If you need help from one of our vendors, head over to our vendors at Home Services.
Fire and Water
Summer and BBQ go hand-in-hand; that didn’t happen at random. It’s not just that there’s almost nothing nicer than sharing some freshly grilled food with family and friends – it’s that cooking inside gets really hot.
Homes are designed to be pretty tight systems; heat created inside has a hard time getting out, and vice versa. That means when you turn on your oven or flip on the stove, you’re adding a lot of heat to the system. Your air conditioner can deal with it eventually, but that can take some time. Opt to cook outside or eat foods that don’t need to be cooked instead.
Heat isn’t the only thing that has a hard time escaping your house. Humidity can be really unbearable, and though most of it can be managed by your air conditioner, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier, as well.
You might be asking yourself “is humidity raising my home temperature”? Well, not exactly, but it goes back to thermoception. When your home is too humid, you can’t sweat properly, which means your body can’t cool itself properly. That means you’ll feel warmer.
Don’t want to invest in a dehumidifier? You can try to reduce humidity by limiting water use. Take cold, short showers, and avoid boiling water.
Maintaining Your AC
Your air conditioning is your primary defense against a warm house, so it’s worth putting some energy into maintaining it. There are a few things you can do to make sure your AC is in top condition. You should:
- Change your AC filters
- Clear away any blockages near your outdoor AC unit (the condenser)
- Clean out your condenser
You can get an AC tech to do seasonal maintenance for you; they might even offer to do a regular duct cleaning to improve air flow and air quality.
While we’re on the subject of AC, let’s think about thermoception again. How noticeable is a difference of one degree? While we’re looking to be cost effective while cooling our homes, it’s worth considering moving the thermostat one or two degrees warmer; you might not notice it, and you could save money.
You should also take the time to check all your vents and make sure they’re unblocked. Rooms that you don’t want cooled should have their doors closed at all times, while rooms that you do want cooled should stay open so that the cold air can circulate properly throughout your home.
Follow these tips, and you should be able to stay nice and cool all summer. You don’t need to break the bank with a lot of fancy gadgets; just good home management and proper self-care.