Here we go again, Central Texas! Temperatures are rising, the school year’s done, and Barton Springs is looking better than ever. Before the dog days of summer arrive in full force, let’s take a look at ways you can stay cool this summer- without just cranking up your AC. Read on for helpful tips from Austin air conditioning experts to make your summer a little more bearable.
Guard Against the Greenhouse Effect
Keeping your blinds closed may sound like a no-brainer, but this simple practice can lower the midday temperature in your home by almost 20 degrees. Once sunlight and heat enter your home, the energy is trapped there and can account for up to 30% of unwanted heat. If you’re a huge fan of natural light, at least close the south and west-facing blinds for a bit of relief.
You can take this tip a step further by upgrading the exterior of your home with shades, shutters, or awnings. Awnings are the most effective sun blockers, reducing heat gain (the increase in temperature due to sunlight) by up to 75%. Unfortunately, they are an expensive solution; again, Austin HVAC specialists recommend focusing on south and west-facing windows to get the best bang for your buck.
Put Off Household Chores
Not indefinitely, of course, but we do recommend waiting until the sun goes down to tackle the laundry and run the dishwasher. These appliances give off a lot of heat, so running them at night is preferable to letting them raise temperatures during an already sweltering day.
You can also swap out using your oven in favor of an outdoor grill. There are tons of healthy and delicious options (a quick Google search will get you started), and grilling is one of the most fun ways to reduce heat inside your home. If you’re tied to the stove, be sure to turn on the fan, either to vent heat to the exterior or at least improve airflow by recirculating it.
Switch Your Sheets
Flannel is nice and cozy when it’s cooler, but cotton is the top pick for sweaty summer nights because it is lightweight and breathable. Synthetic sheets trap heat- definitely not what you’re going for! If you really want to feel the chill, put your sheets in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer for a few minutes before bed. The effect is short-lived, of course, but it can be absolutely glorious on the hottest nights.
In the summer, you want your home to have as much airflow as possible, so leave interior doors open whenever you can. Closing off rooms prevents cool air from reaching them, allowing the heat to rise inside. Be sure to reverse this trick in the winter- close doors to help keep heat in the rooms you’re using most.
The tips above are intended to supplement a well-functioning air conditioning system- not to be used in place of one. Central Texans know that central AC is a vital part of surviving our brutal summers. If yours is in need of repairs or if you just want the peace of mind that comes with a seasonal maintenance contract, contact an Austin HVAC specialist today to review your options. Your Austin air conditioning professionals want to do all they can to keep you cool and comfortable as summer swings into high gear.