The sweltering summers add enough heat to your home as it is, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re not doing anything to make things even hotter. Without even realizing it, you may be adding several degrees onto the temperature of your home through various household activities. Here are eight ways you could be adding unnecessary heat to your home.
Your oven and stove are major appliances, and major heat sources. Running the oven all afternoon or slaving over a hot stove are surefire ways to make the whole house feel a bit too toasty. Instead of heating up the kitchen, take the cooking outdoors and fire up your outdoor grill. Or, opt for a slow cooker or pressure cooker. You can make a complete meal without ever turning on the oven or stove. On the hottest summer days, you can even put your slow or pressure cooker in the garage or on the patio and bring it in when the food’s ready to serve.
If you must use the oven or the stove, try and time it so you do your cooking early in the morning, before the temperatures reach their midday peak, or at night, when the sun goes down and temperatures fall a bit.
It may be convenient, but your dishwasher adds heat and humidity to the air in your kitchen. Especially if you opt for an extra rinse or heated drying cycle. To reduce this effect, try running your dishwasher at night instead, or choose a shorter cycle without the bells and whistles.
Windows are a major source of unwanted heat in a home. According to the EPA, about 76% of sunlight that falls on a home’s windows enters and becomes heat. This creates an uncomfortable “greenhouse effect”, making your home feel warmer during the hottest parts of the day. While enjoying the summer sunlight is fine here and there, you should opt to keep your blinds closed during the peak of the day’s heat (around 3pm).
Any sort of window covering provides some relief from the summer sun. But, for a solution that’s designed to not only stop heat, but keep your home cool, consider thermal curtains. Thermal curtains work by blocking your windows from leaking the air that your air conditioning system works hard to circulate. This results in not only a more comfortable home, but also considerable savings on your energy bills. With so many styles and colors available, thermal curtains can easily fit into your home’s décor, making them both functional and trendy.
A common misconception is that you should close the doors and vents in rooms you’re not using when your air conditioner is running. The thinking is that less square footage to cool equals better cooling for the rooms that aren’t closed off. In actuality, the opposite is true. Keeping the interior doors and vents in your home open allows cool air to easily flow from room to room. Not only does this keep your home feeling cool and comfortable, it also reduces strain on your air conditioner and allows it to use less energy.
Turning on more lights than you need can heat your home up fast, especially if you’re still using old school incandescent bulbs. ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs use 25-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Less energy means less heat released into your home.
No matter what bulbs are in your home, limiting how many lights you use during the day can keep it much cooler. Try to use smaller table lamps instead of larger overhead lights when you can, as these give off less heat.
If you’re not regularly using the fans in your bathroom and kitchen, you’re letting heat and humidity enter your home unopposed. Running your bathroom fan during and for 15 minutes after your shower is a great way to remove heat and humidity from the bathroom air. If you’re cooking up a storm, run your kitchen exhaust fan to minimize the added heat. It’ll also help with not-so-pleasant cooking smells that you might not want sticking around, like smoke.
Ceiling fans can be a great way to help lower the temperature of your home. In the summer, ceiling fans should be set to spin counterclockwise. This creates a wind-chill like effect that helps you feel cooler. In the winter, ceiling fans should be set to spin in the clockwise direction in order to help bring warm air downward and distribute it throughout the room.
If you’re not sure how to change the direction of your ceiling fan, check the base of the fan. Most fans have a switch that you can use to change the direction it spins. By making sure that your ceiling fan is set to the correct direction for the season, you can rely on it to help keep your home at the right temperature all year long.
You should change or clean your air filters every 60 days, at a minimum. If someone in your home has allergies, or if you have pets, it’s recommended that you change your filters monthly. However, sometimes life gets in the way, and you may fall out of your replacement schedule. When this happens, the accumulated dust, dander, and debris can block cool air from entering your home. With reduced airflow comes reduced cooling, and it’s likely your home won’t reach your desired temperature.
Keeping your home cool in the face of staggering triple-digit summer heat may seem like a daunting task—but it’s not one you need deal with alone. With over 75 years of experience, we’ve seen our fair share of Arizona summers, and we’ve helped countless families stay cool and comfortable in their homes no matter what the temperature. Whether you’re in the market for a new system or need a repair for your current one, you’ll experience what sets us apart from countless others in our industry. Contact us to get started.