It’s June, and we’ve had a lot of rain with fairly cool temperatures lately here in DFW. But don’t let this unusual chill leave you unprepared for the more characteristic 90’s temperatures that we expect around this time of the year. As a Dallas, Fort Worth resident, you know that the hot summer temperatures can make you break a sweat, both physically and financially. Cranking up your air conditioner is a must, even long after the sun sets! Of course, the cost of comfort means higher electric bills.
Unfortunately, no one has created a thermostat that can control the temperatures outside (bummer), but there are ways that you can combat the amount of heat that builds up in your home. Here are 6 tips that you can use to keep your home as cool as possible during the sweltering summer months.
1) When To Use Your Appliances
Appliances such as your oven, washer/dryer, and dishwasher are great generators of heat. Try cooking using your microwave, stove top, or even your grill outside. If possible, avoid running your washer/dryer during the day, but instead wait to run your laundry when the temperatures are a bit lower in the evening or at night. The same tip applies to dishwashing. If you do need to run laundry/dishes during the day, be sure that you are running full loads and consider air-drying.
2) Window Shading
Natural lighting is great, but a hot home is not! During the daytime hours, keep your blinds drawn as much as possible, especially on the south facing side of your home. You may even consider installing curtains or drapes to further minimize the amount of incoming sunlight.
3) Seal Cracks and Windows
Over time, the sealing around your windows can become worn, and the outside heat/cold will flow into your home. Check all the windows around your house and make sure the sealing is still holding up. You can do a quick visual check, by finding gaps or cracks where air can seep in. Usually these gaps are in areas where two pieces are supposed to meet (window/window frame, for example).
4) Replace Your Air Conditioning Filters
Dirty filters will greatly diminish the efficiency and performance of your air conditioner. It’s very important that you regularly replace or clean (if your filter is reusable) your AC filters to ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency. You may need to check your filters more often, depending on how often the system is running and how much dust, pet dander, and other airborne particles are in your indoor air.
5) Seal Your Ducts
If you notice unusual increases in your utility bill or you’re having difficulty cooling a certain room, you may need to have your ductwork examined. Poorly performing air ducts can negatively affect your indoor air quality and your health. In addition, having your air ducts cleaned may help keep your system running as efficiently as possible, while allowing you to circulate much cleaner and healthier air throughout your home.
6) Upgrade or Tune-Up Your AC System
If your AC system is 8 years or older, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Here are just a few of the things you may want to take into consideration if you are thinking about replacing your current system:
- The age of your system
- Cost of repair
- Energy efficiency
- Noise levels
Your AC system works hard every summer to keep your home cool during the Texas heat. A quality AC tune-up is a must for keeping your air conditioner running at peak performance. Whether you plan on repairing or upgrading your system, it's important to take care of it properly.
Keep these tips in mind throughout the next few months, and you won’t have to sweat about the energy bill! Stay cool this summer, and check back here weekly for more helpful tips!