The sun is shining, the lemonade is flowing, and you’re ready to bask in the glory of the beautiful weather; but don’t sit down just yet. While we spend hours winterizing our home, it’s just as important to ‘summerize’ it. Never heard of such a thing? Well, there are ways for you to keep your home cool and your bills low while still allowing you to enjoy that lemonade.
Heating and air conditioning your home takes a 43 percent chunk from your monthly utility bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. One tip to help keep down that utility bill is to plant leafy trees around your house so that the sun won’t shine in as much and will keep your home from heating up like the sauna at the gym.
Protecting your windows is another way to keep the sun from shining inside to the point of heating up the room like you live on the sun. Solar screens or mesh-like window screens intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it reaches the house. Window films are another option and are transparent. Metal sheets can also keep your house cooler by reflecting the heat before it gets transmitted through your glass windows.
Another way to prep your home for summer is to program your thermostat. Set it to a higher temperature when you’re not going to be home or are going on vacation. Then set it at a reasonable temperature for when you’re at home. Using ceiling fans or portable room fans will keep the room cool and your energy bills low.
A quick solution is to turn off lights when you’re not in the room. Also, if you have thermostats in each room, turn off the ones in the rooms not being used.
A few of the next tips will only require a quick trip to your local hardware store. Dirty air conditioner filters can limit airflow and cause your system to run longer, increasing your energy usage. Make sure you replace the filters every six months.
By keeping the hot air out, you won’t need to run your air conditioner 24/7. You can do this by sealing your doors and windows with caulk and installing foam gaskets behind the outlet covers.
Leaking ducts in your house can account for 25 percent of cooling costs during summer months, so have those ducts tested and cleaned. Another tip to prep your home for summer is to have insulation added to your attic. The level of insulation should be R-30.
These easy solutions will keep your house cooler, your energy bills lower, and you’ll be much happier basking in the warm Colorado sun.