Summertime…..lazy days on the lake, afternoons by the pool, plenty of sunshine and ridiculously HOT temperatures! Keeping yourself – and your home – comfortable and cool can feel impossible. Here are some great tips to help keep your home chilly without cranking up your air conditioning (and your power bill)!

Take Care Of Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance ensures that your air conditioning unit runs efficiently – and that parts won’t quit when you need them the most. Change your air filters every 4-6 weeks and be sure to check them often during heavy use. Also, installing a programmable thermostat will allow you to set the right temperature for the right time. Program temperatures to be warmer (76-80 degrees) during the hours you will be away (work, school, etc.). Set the thermostat to drop (74-76 degrees) shortly before you would get home. Most people get a good night’s sleep in cooler temperatures, so consider setting your thermostat to cool the most just before bed and while you are sleeping (70-74 degrees).

Double Check Your Insulation

Not having proper insulation in your home allows cool air to escape and hot air in. If you own an older home, consider replacing the existing insulation with a new more energy efficient variety.

Keep The Sunshine Out

Keeping the blinds and/or curtains closed during the day will prevent the direct sunlight from heating up your house. If sitting in the dark leaves you feeling like a vampire, consider closing the blinds in rooms that receive the most sunlight during the day. Make sure your blinds are a light color – this will help to reflect the light rather than absorb it.

Keep The Doors Open

Obviously I’m not talking about your front or back door…but the interior doors of your home should be open to allow the air to circulate throughout.

Change Your Cleaning And Cooking Habits

Save those piles of dirty clothes and dishes for the evening hours. Obviously the dryer puts out some serious heat, so running it during the hottest part of the day will only make you more miserable. Try saving the chores that require you to use appliances that emit the most heat (washer, dryer, dishwasher) for the end of your day.

Grill out! Stoves and ovens also emit a ton of heat into your home.If you are able to grill, do so. You might be a little hot while cooking outside but enjoying your meal in a cool and comfortable house will make it worthwhile. If you decide to cook on your stove top or use the oven, make sure to use the vent fan. Some models vent the hot air directly outside – which eliminates the hot air in your home all together. Running the fan for models that do not vent outside will still allow the hot air to recirculate – which won’t help cool things down – but it will distribute the heat and get temperatures back to normal quickly.

Turn Out The Lights

Keeping overhead lights and lamps to a minimum will help keep your home cool and even lower your power bill. Make sure to turn off the lights when you leave a room and consider using lower wattage or energy efficient light bulbs where you can.

Use Those Fans

Keeping a free standing or ceiling fan running may not actually lower the temperature in your home, but it will make you feel cooler. Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating in a counter-clockwise motion, which pushes the air down.

Dress Accordingly

Just because you have to cover up at the office doesn’t mean you have to at home. Keep “comfy clothes” handy to change into once your day is done. A lightweight shirt and athletic shorts are always a winning combination.

Jennifer Cox, Lake Life Realty