Let’s all agree on this: Summer can get really hot. No matter where you hide — in your home or in the cool pool — there is no way to escape the heat. As you turn up the AC and grudgingly stare at the rising energy bill, don’t you wish that you could do something to get comfortable and save a few bucks? Here are 5 home improvement projects to keep your home during cool summer:
1) Repair or Replace Your Old Windows
Much of the heat gain can be attributed to windows. Whether the window was leaky or made of energy inefficient materials, the condition of your window directly affects the amount of heat that will infiltrate your home during the dog days of summer. According to Energy.gov, sealing, repairing, or caulking your windows are effective ways to reduce heat gain, while enjoying 5% to 10% savings in energy bills. Moreover, replacing your old windows with double pane, high-performing glass (low-E coating) will also minimize heat transfer and keep your house much cooler than before.
2) Window Treatment Inside and Out
Window treatment does more than making your home pretty. When done right, your drapes, curtains, or blinds can alleviate your indoor temperature. As House Logic rightly states, if you want to keep heat from entering your home, then block the sun and close the blinds. Choose light-colored drapes or thermal blinds to frustrate heat transmission. Additionally, installing window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65% on south-facing windows and as much as 77% on west-facing windows.
3) Boost the Efficiency of Your Central Cooling System
Besides opening the windows to let the night air in, homeowners can improve their AC’s performance by keeping it clean and healthy. A clogged air filter not only slows down cool airflow, but also drives up your energy bills. On the contrary, a clean air filter can efficiently pump out the much-coveted cool air, while reducing the AC’s overall energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
4) Light up Your House with Less Heat
When choosing your lighting source, LED is always better than incandescent. EnergyStar rated LED bulbs have been found to last 25 times longer while consuming 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. According to the Energy Department, “LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat.”
5) Invest in EnergyStar Appliances
Upgrading to energy efficient electrical appliances will dramatically reduce the amount of ambient heat in your home. Homeowners can cut back energy output from appliances by upgrading to more energy-efficient models. For example, an EnergyStar dishwasher not only lowers energy demand, water consumption, and wastewater treatment costs, but also decreases the amount of energy it takes to treat, pump, and heat water. Energy efficient ovens and stovetops, on the other hand, are also better insulated and emit less heat during operation.
Regain Control over the Temperature of Your Home
Can you imagine a cool house in summer that does not stretch your wallet? We can. By always researching and evaluating the energy efficient of your home, you will gradually see a change in your energy bill and experience less fear (and hot sweats) when summer comes around.