Florida homeowners have been figuring out for years and years how to escape the intense heat of the summer sun, and people all over the country still get those occasional scorchers that make the air conditioner barely keep up (or send everyone to the basement for cooler temps if there is no air conditioning in the building!).
While there are some significant upgrades you can make to your home that will add to the home’s value and also make it easier to keep your house cool, some small hacks can make a difference and help you beat the heat even without significant upgrades.
Move your cooking to the grill
One factor that makes things harder for air conditioners is if they are fighting both outside temps and the heat generated by cooking indoors. Consider seriously breaking out the grill during the summer, particularly during the heat of the day, for lunch and dinner.
An induction cooktop or side burner can be used for traditional stovetop cooking, and the grill often adds excellent flavor to items you’d otherwise have roasted or baked. You’ll still be putting out a bunch of heat, but instead of fighting your air conditioner, it will make your A/C work less and make the actual meal more enjoyable when you walk back into the nice cool interior of your home.
Use your blinds once the house is cool
While it is nice to experience natural light, blinds and curtains are your friends when your air conditioner struggles to keep up.
You lose cool air through windows, particularly single-pane or drafty ones, and every layer of fabric or blinds does a little work to keep the cool air inside rather than letting it leak out into the hot afternoon. When indoors in the afternoon, closing those blinds will let your A/C take a little break.
Swap traditional bulbs for LEDs in lamps and overhead lighting
Much like ovens, traditional incandescent light bulbs generate heat – it’s not much per bulb, but it adds up over a whole house.
Take the time and a few dollars and buy some mini LED bulbs, which generate a fraction of the heat and also save you electricity, eventually paying for themselves (some electric companies also offer free LED bulbs or deeply discounted ones, so check with your provider first before buying them at the home improvement store).
Every little bit helps to keep the house comfortable!
Get your A/C unit serviced to make sure there’s no problem
If you consistently notice that the house cannot reach your target temperature on hot days, your air conditioner might have a problem that could become a big deal at any point. Rather than waiting for a catastrophic failure, get a yearly air conditioner servicing appointment on the calendar.
While not every year will yield a significant repair, this annual service can catch minor problems before they strain your system considerably. Keeping an A/C unit in good working order extends its life in ways that may support your home cooler both now and in the long term.
Change your A/C filter frequently
Too often, we get busy and must remember to change the A/C filter, which pulls particulates out of the air in our homes. Changing it frequently does two good things at least: first, it helps you keep the consistently good air quality in your home, but second, it makes your A/C unit work less hard since it’s easier to pass air through a clean filter than one that is clogged with months of dust.
Get ceiling fans rotating counter clockwise
If you have ceiling fans, they can keep the air moving more incredibly. While ceiling fans won’t always make a sweltering room feel more relaxed, they may generate movement that makes it possible to raise the thermostat a degree without making you sweaty and miserable.
Experiment with oscillating fans, too, and try to keep the thermostat as high as you can manage – you can find a way to make the house cool enough to handle.
Start each day right if your nights get cool
Some parts of the country never get cool overnight, but if your area gets into the 70s overnight, give your A/C a break and let the house cool down naturally in the evenings.
If anyone in the home is an early riser, you can open windows early in the morning and let the house breathe cool air until the sunshine makes it 80+ degrees outside again.