Another Texas summer is approaching, and we know what that means: the temperature is rising, and we’ve got some sunny, humid days ahead of us. While this might make for perfect lake (or water park) weather, the summer heat can wreak havoc on our utility bills. Here are a few simple home improvements that can help you combat the heat in your home this summer.
1. Ceiling fans
We may be pointing out the obvious, but a powerful ceiling fan helps you make the most of your AC by keeping the cool air circulating around the room. Remember to turn them off when you aren’t in the room. If you’ve got ceiling fans but don’t feel like they’re doing a very good job, make sure you’ve got the right size fan to fit your room. According to the American Lighting Association, you should follow these rules of thumb:
|Room Dimensions||Suggested Fan Size|
|Up to 75 sq. ft.||29-36″|
|76-144 sq. ft.||36-42″|
|144-225 sq. ft.||44″|
|225-400 sq. ft.||50-54″|
2. Routine air conditioner maintenance
Something as simple as replacing your HVAC air filter regularly can help you keep your cool during summer months. If you don’t, dust and debris can build up and restrict air flow. Pros also suggest that you have a certified HVAC technician service your air conditioner once per year to keep it operating efficiently. It’ll save you money in the long run.
3. Seal gaps and cracks
Don’t crank up the AC until you know you’re keeping the cool air in. Make sure you’ve got weather stripping around doors and windows, and seal gaps with expanding foam or caulking.
4. Smart thermostats
Let technology do the work for you. Invest in a programmable thermostat that will do the heavy lifting when it comes to maintaining a comfortable temperature in your house. You can set it to keep the house warmer when you aren’t at home, and there are models that come with wifi capabilities and even smartphone apps that allow you to make adjustments when you’re on the move.
5. Blinds and awnings
Seems kind of basic, but it works: cover your windows with blinds and/or awnings to keep the hot summer sun at bay. Well-placed blinds can keep your rooms a few degrees cooler—and that makes a huge difference during a 100-degree Texas heat wave!