Climate change is making summers hotter. You can expect the season to have higher temperatures and more record-breaking heat waves.
With this news, you should do your best to prepare your house for the summer heat this year. Otherwise, your house might feel like a sauna all day and night.
Here are some changes that can help your house stay cool for the summer.
Improve the Insulation
Without a strong barrier of insulation, the humid air is going to make its way inside and disrupt your indoor temperature. Even with the air conditioning running, you might feel like your rooms are balmy and uncomfortable throughout the season.
How can you improve the insulation in your home?
- Add more insulation to the walls. This is a crucial step for areas with minimal insulation like attics, crawlspaces and basements.
- Use foam sealant or foam gaskets to seal air leaks coming through electrical outlets.
- Add air-tight cone baffles to recessed lights to prevent air leaks.
- Seal air leaks around drafty windows with fresh caulking.
If your windows have surpassed their expected lifespan (typically between 15-25 years), then you should put your caulking plans on hold. You will be better off getting some replacement windows professionally installed in your home. Replacement windows with energy-efficient features like low-emissivity glass and fusion-welded corners should keep the summer heat outside where it belongs.
Clean Your AC Unit
Before you start running your AC unit, you should give it a thorough clean. Start by turning off the power and cleaning the condenser coils — they’ve likely accumulated a layer of dust, dirt and other debris. Once you’ve finished cleaning the condenser coils and putting the unit back together, you should go inside and change your system’s disposable filter. A window AC unit will have a reusable filter that you can remove, rinse and replace after it dries.
These two steps will make your unit run more efficiently throughout the summer, keeping your rooms cool and your energy bills low.
Give Your AC a Boost
The highest levels of your house might not be as cool as your basement when you turn the air conditioning on. The cool air from your AC unit has to travel further through your duct system to get to the rooms on the highest level. That cool air has a longer, harder journey up to the top floors.
These are some things that you can do to fix this problem:
- Close some vents on the lower level. This should help push more cold air to the higher levels.
- Install duct booster fans to increase airflow in the duct system.
- Check for other AC unit problems to see whether yours needs repairs.
Get Some Shade
You don’t want to spend your entire summer indoors — you’d like to spend time on your deck. How can you protect yourself from the heat without insulation or air conditioning? When it comes to your yard, your best protection against the sweltering heat is the shade.
Get a large umbrella for the outdoor dining area on your deck or patio. If your deck is quite large, you may want to get a retractable awning installed instead.
Don’t trim back trees or shrubs too much. The branches can provide a lot of natural shade. Trees also cool the air through evapotranspiration (when the water from leaves evaporates during photosynthesis). Think of the trees in your yard like natural air conditioning.
This is how you can prepare your house for the summer heat. Follow these tips and stay cool!