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Now that summer is in full swing, air conditioners everywhere are helping keep homes nice and cool during the day. But when a heat wave spikes, sometimes even a trusty air conditioner isn’t enough. If you don’t want to deal with a horrifying energy bill, there are lots of other things you can do apart from running your air conditioner to stay cool in the summer. By staying on top of a few of these things, you can fight back against the heat without putting your air conditioner into overdrive.

Howe technicians are committed to providing cool summers for as many people as possible. Whether it’s through fast repair or comprehensive maintenance services, we’ll keep your cooling in great shape during the summer. Call or text Howe today at 605-339-2020 to explore more cooling options.

Maintain a Cool Breeze with Fans and Open Windows

You may not think a single fan is all that effective, but when placed in the right spots, they can be a useful way to fight back against high temperatures. You can even add open windows to the equation for comfortable breezes that flow through the whole house.

  • Utilize ceiling and floor fans to create airflow in the rooms you use most. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, fans only use 10 percent of the energy consumed by an AC unit and can make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler.
  • Know when to open up windows. The Natural Resources Defense Council advocates for turning off the air conditioner and opening the windows when outdoor temperatures dip below 70 degrees. It’s best to keep them shut on humid nights, however, because humid air holds heat more easily than dry air.

Control Sunlight and Airflow Where You Can

You can’t keep the sun from turning up the heat, but you can control how much of that heat gets indoors. By making sure heat has the fewest places to enter while keeping your ventilation open, you can limit the amount of heat your home experiences through the day.

  • Keep the curtains and blinds closed during the day, especially on windows facing east, west, and south. Preventing sunlight from warming the interior of your home can go a long way in reducing heat buildup that you’d have to combat later.
  • Avoid covering floor vents with furniture or heavy hanging drapes, as they’ll block air from getting into the room properly. Not only can this disrupt airflow, but it can also affect how well or poorly other spaces in your home are kept cool. Keep as many vents in unused rooms open as possible to allow for proper air flow. Shutting one or two in a basement is usually ok.

Reduce Your Energy Use for Lighting and Appliances

Don’t forget that there are things indoors affecting your home’s temperature. Other utilities and even appliances like your washing machine can raise the temperature. Energy-efficient alternatives don’t just lower your energy bill: they can also help cool things down!

  • Install LED bulbs in your light fixtures. LED bulbs use much less energy than incandescent bulbs, and thus they don’t put off as much heat as well.
  • Minimize the use of household appliances during the hottest part of the day. To keep energy consumption in mind, opt for outdoor grilling or meals that don’t require cooking, like fresh garden salads. Also use washers, dryers, dishwashers and other appliances at night when it’s cooler.

Stay on Top of Routine AC Maintenance

A well-maintained air conditioner uses less energy to cool your home and therefore reduced energy costs. So by staying on top of air conditioner maintenance, you can do your part to keep the cooling itself a powerful tool for whole-home comfort.

  • Check your AC system’s outdoor unit to keep it free of debris or anything that would limit its access to airflow. This includes leaves, sticks, cottonwood seeds, dirt and other yard waste. For best results, keep an area 3-5 feet away from the outdoor unit clear of debris.
  • We almost always need AC in the summer. Remember to clean or check the AC filter once a month as buildup will restrict airflow, making it less efficient. Taking care of your air filter is a fast, easy way to keep your air conditioner in good condition.