In the Louisiana heat and humidity, air conditioners are practically a necessity. So much so that a recent survey showed that 46 percent of prospective buyers say that they wouldn’t buy a house without air conditioning. As summers get hotter, our need for cooling has become more important.
That said, there are things you can do to improve your home’s capacity to keep itself cool. Here are 6 tips to get you started.
1. Keep your doors and windows shut
You’ll find it more difficult to keep your home cool if you leave your doors and windows open. Air conditioners work best if all vents and openings are kept shut to prevent cool air from escaping. It also helps to plug any holes in the ventilation system.
Many people believe that you need to keep a window open to keep the air flowing, but that’s a misconception. Your home probably already has a cooling and ventilation system that prevents the air from becoming stale. Opening the windows forces your cooling system to use up more energy to cool your home. You also won’t be able to reach your desired temperature.
2. Minimize sun exposure
Cool air doesn’t play well with heat. Your home’s air conditioning is less efficient if you let sunlight enter your home. While we all need some light once in a while, it’s best to draw the curtains if you want to keep your home cool. You can also use see-through curtains that let some light in while keeping the heat out.
There are other ways to shield your home from the heat of the sun. If you’re shopping around for a new home, make sure to look for one that’s surrounded by trees. That way, you can enjoy all the benefits of natural light without the heat. Consider installing awnings to keep direct sunlight away from the windows.
3. Invest in LED lighting
All forms of light emit some heat, some more than others. Homes that are filled with old lighting are more expensive to cool. Incandescent light bulbs can run hot, which affects your cooling efficiency. They also consume a lot of energy. Make sure to replace all your old lighting with new LED bulbs.
4. Invest in insulation
Structural issues can also affect a home’s cooling efficiency. A house has to be properly insulated to keep the interior cool. Otherwise, the interior temperature will equalize with the outside temperature. Most importantly, the roof has to be fitted with thick insulation. The roof absorbs heat during the day, and that heat can remain inside even at night.
5. Reduce appliance heat emissions
The appliances you use can make some rooms warmer than the rest of your home. For instance, the laundry room tends to trap a lot of heat thanks to the dryer. The heat produced by the dryer can linger for hours, longer if the walls are properly insulated. Consider air-drying your clothes if you’re not doing a full load.
Another part of your home you need to keep a close eye on is the kitchen. Kitchen appliances are known energy hogs that produce a lot of heat. It’s best to invest in additional ventilation in the kitchen for heat venting. You also might want to swap out your gas appliances for electric ones.
6. Ensure proper airflow
Poor cooling efficiency can often be traced to one thing: poor airflow.
A disorganized layout or obstructed vents can cause uneven cooling in your home. To ensure proper cooling in every room, make sure to check the vents and remove any obstructions. Avoid placing pieces of furniture in front of vents to allow for unimpeded flow.
Nobody wants to live in a warm and stuffy house. An air conditioner helps you remain cool and comfortable on hot summer days. If you run into any problems, have your home inspected by your HVAC guy.