As temperatures begin to warm up after a long winter season, it is time to take advantage of the mild spring weather. Over the winter months, it is often difficult to perform work around the house due to the cold temperatures. However, spring is the perfect time to get your home in top shape for the months of warm weather ahead. One way to ensure a comfortable spring and summer season is to take the steps necessary to create a cooler home. There are DIY home maintenance and improvement projects available for homeowners of all abilities that will allow your home to remain cool as temperatures heat up! Read below to find out more.
Air Conditioner Tune Up
Before conditions get too hot, have your heat pump air conditioner tuned up. Of course, you can test and check if it is running properly; but a technician can do a more elaborate check to avoid any problems in down the road. It is a good idea to check and add to Freon levels to make sure you will be trouble free for the whole season. It is far better to do this maintenance at the beginning of the season, before you need it, rather than wait for the hottest day to find it is not working and be last on the list for repairs.
Attic Fans or Whole House Fans
Consider installing a whole house fan to effectively create a cross flow throughout the whole house. These powerful fans draw the cooler early morning and evening air through open doors and windows and forces it up through the attic and out the roof vents. This cross flow sends hot air up and out, cooling your house and your attic. The fans are typically mounted in an upstairs stairwell or hallway ceiling where there’s at least 3 ft. of clearance above the fan. These fans cost from $200 to $1200 and use 90% less energy than an air conditioner. Unfortunately, the fans do not dehumidify the air and can’t lower the temperature below the outside temperature, and can draw allergens into the home.
Consider New Windows, Screens and Storm Doors
Increasing your home’s ability to circulate air is extremely important when attempting to cool the home during the summer months. While it is often too hot during the day to allow outdoor air to enter the home, temperatures generally cool down once the sun sets. Take advantage of this cooler air during the evenings with new windows, storm doors, and screens. New windows will enable you to provide a more comfortable environment for both your family and guests in a variety of ways. Properly functioning windows will reduce the amount of cooled air that escapes the home via cracks and leaks, saving you money on air conditioning. They also allow you to easily open and close them to let outdoor air to enter the home. Best of all, the tilt in windows make it easy to clean the window inside and out from the interior of the home.
If your windows are in good shape, take a look at your screens. Small tears or holes will let insects in your home. To prevent this, install new screens into the existing frame. Screening material can be purchased at any “big box” store in a roll. A simple screening spline tool makes it a snap to attach the screen to the frame.
If your windows are older without any UV protection, consider installing the protective film to the windows to keep the heat and light from increasing the temperature inside your home.
Like windows, storm doors will increase the air flow throughout the home while keeping bugs out with screens. Both storm doors and properly functioning windows will allow you to live comfortably during the hottest summer days.
Install Ceiling Fans
One of the most effective and energy efficient ways to cool your home during the summer season is through the use of properly functioning ceiling fans. Check your ceiling fans to make sure that they are effectively operating and circulating air around their respective rooms. Furthermore, avoid sending the hot air at the ceiling of a room down toward your living areas by adjusting your fans to rotate counter-clockwise. This will ensure that the air at the floor’s surface is as cool as possible.
Updating an old ceiling fan can do wonders for the style of a room. Today, there are ceiling fan design options for every style. Design options run from modern sleek and sophisticated to tropical or novelty selections that look like airplane props.
Redesign Your Flooring
Flooring has the ability to affect the temperature of every room in your home. Carpet, for example, holds heat, which can reduce the rate at which rooms in your home cool down. For a cooler home, consider the installation of tile or hardwood flooring. Natural stone tile, ceramic tile, hardwood, and vinyl flooring materials provide a much cooler living environment than that of carpet floors.
Close Blinds and Curtains
Some small things can make a big difference to keeping your home cooler. Closing the blinds and curtains can save as much as 7% on your bills and lower the indoor temperature by 20 degrees. In fact, as much as 30% of the unwanted heat enters you home through the uncovered windows. Closing the blinds and drapes on just the south and western windows of your home will keep it much cooler.
Amp Up a Fan
If you have window or floor fans in your room, increase the cooling effect by placing an ice pack in front of it.
Ditch the Bulbs
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. The older bulbs waste 90% of the energy in the form of heat. Replacing all of your bulbs can make a large difference in you electric bill too!
Turn on the Grill
Use the grill exclusively in the summer to keep your house cooler. It is no wonder why turning on the oven or stove in the summer will only make the house hotter.
Implementing one or more of these elements into the design and use of your home will ensure you stay cool and comfortable this summer! If you have questions or need help with any home improvements; call Xpert Home Services to come to the rescue. We are your one stop shop for all you maintenance and home improvement needs.