There are just two seasons in Texas, summer, and winter! And we know we don’t have to tell you how hot it gets in the summer. Most Texans spend a good deal of time looking for ways to escape the sweltering heat and humidity of summer only to find that their electric bills are as frightening as the daily weather report!
With summer gearing up, we thought we would talk about some ways you can beat the heat without breaking the bank. The following tips can help take the edge off the heat without leaving you with a big utility bill at the end of the month.
Use Ceiling Fans Correctly
Ceiling fans can be your best friend in summer, but you must use them correctly, which is to have them spin counterclockwise. The direction of the fan's blades determines if the air is pulled up or pushed down. During summer, you want the fan to push air down, so you should stand under the fan and check if you feel a breeze. If not, you need to change the direction of the spinning. There is generally a switch on the body of the fan to reverse directions but always refer to the fan's instructions to be sure.
Use Heat-Blocking Window Film
If you put your hand on your window in the summer, you can feel the heat radiate through it. If you do not have double-paned windows, even more heat can get through. While upgrading your windows is pricey, there is something you can do to reduce the amount of heat that gets inside. Heat-blocking window film is an affordable and effective way to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home through your windows. This film can block up to 99% of UV rays, which can help keep your home cool and protect your furniture and carpets from fading. Most home improvement stores have this handy product available.
Keep Interior Doors Open
It is common to close interior doors in the winter to help keep the living space warmer without using too much energy. However, during summer, this practice has the opposite effect. So in the summer, keeping doors open to rooms with vents will increase airflow and make your entire home more comfortable. There is an exception to this rule though. If you have closed off the air vent to a room, you can keep it shut and simply not cool that space. If there are rooms you don’t need in the summer, this can help reduce energy needs.
Close Blinds and Curtains
While it's nice to open blinds and curtains to let in natural light, doing so in a hot climate can make your home hotter. Keeping them closed will limit the amount of heat that enters and keep more of your cool air in. You can even purchase thicker curtains designed to block the heat even more. These can block and absorb heat at the point of entry, making it easier to keep your home comfortable. These are available at most department stores or online.
Avoid Using Heat-Producing Appliances
Several household appliances, including dryers, dishwashers, and ovens, generate heat that contributes to your home's temperature. To keep your home cooler, avoid using these appliances during the day. Instead, use toaster ovens or microwave ovens to cook and set your dishwasher to run overnight. If possible, keep your dryer in a separate room to prevent it from heating up cooler spaces. If not, limit the use of the dryer until the cooler hours as well.
Last but not least, make sure your HVAC system is well maintained. By keeping up with the routine maintenance needed on your HVAC equipment, it will run more efficiently and last longer. This will help you stay cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and can increase the lifespan of your equipment.