TIPS + TOOLS

Keeping your home cool this summer

May 25, 2020

Hot and muggy, that’s the theme of our Ottawa Valley summers. If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have an air conditioning unit keeping your home cool, but skyrocketing your energy bill. In today’s energy-conscious world, this just doesn’t cut it. So, we’re sharing some tried-and-true ways you can reduce costs and be a little greener while keeping your home cool.

Maintenance

For starters, if you’re going to run the AC, make sure it is well-maintained.

  • Have the unit serviced by a licensed technician to ensure it’s running at maximum efficiency.
  • Inspect the weather stripping on your doors and windows. If you don’t have a tight seal, change them out so you don’t lose that cold air.
  • You likely aren’t thinking about your furnace right now, but have a look at the filter to make sure it’s clean. This should be done seasonally, or a minimum of twice a year.

Small changes with big impact

  • After changing the furnace filter, check your return air grills throughout the house. Ensure they are unobstructed and remove any items in front of them. This will help with air circulation.
  • Close the blinds when you are not home, keeping direct sunlight from entering your home and heating the air.
  • When the AC is off, keeping your doors and windows open will help air circulate and regulate the temperature in your home.
  • Good news for those with ceiling fans: Turning on the fans will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. However, you should turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a windchill effect.
  • Let’s talk vents: When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. You will also want to ensure the bathroom and kitchen fans are being vented to the outside (not just into the attic!).
  • Keep in mind, while temperatures can be muggy during the day, they often dip later on, with nice breezes throughout the night. So, turn off your AC before bed, open up your windows, if you can turn on any fans, and enjoy a little fresh air!

If you have completed a renovation recently, it is important to keep in mind that this can drastically change the way your home functions, including having effects on your heating and cooling systems. We recommend you have your system balanced by a certified HVAC technician following your renovation, or contact Amsted’s Home Care department, and ensure you’re free of any uncomfortable temperature surprises in your home!