Heat waves are often solved by simply turning on the air conditioner. But sometimes, you have to be more creative to beat the heat, especially if you want to keep your energy bills low. With these inexpensive energy-efficient projects, you can keep your home cool during any summer heat wave.
1) Add a little shade. Install blinds or curtains around all of your windows. You can also take this project one step further and install exterior awnings over the windows that get the most sun. This will create a shady spot for your windows and reduce their exposure to sun and heat.
2) Install a programmable thermostat. Updating your home with a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to beat the summer heat, and it will offer you savings throughout the rest of the year. Research the models that will work with your HVAC and then follow the installation instructions. Once the thermostat is installed, program it to your desired temperature and use the calendar function to record those settings for the future. Set the temperature for your home to be hotter when you are away and cooler when you are about to return home. You can save energy and money by not cooling an empty house, and you'll still enjoy the same familiar comfort when you arrive home.
3) Clean the air filter for your HVAC system. Your air conditioner (and entire heating, cooling, and ventilation system) will run more efficiently and keep your house cooler when the filter is clean. Ideally, you should replace the filter every single month. A clean filter helps your entire air conditioner run more efficiently, reducing energy usage lowering the risk of unit failure.
4) Caulk the windows. You paid for that air conditioning, so don't let it escape for free through the cracks in your windows. Head to your local home goods store and purchase some caulk. Then inspect each of your windows and apply it to any cracks or gaps you find. The more airtight you can make your home, the more energy you'll save, and the cooler you'll be.
It's easier to keep cool and keep utility costs low even in the heat of summer when you know what to do - and it's low-cost and low-tech.