Get Your Home Ready for the Dog Days of Summer – 10 Tips
According to the National Weather Service, the average high temperature for the Summer Months (June, July and August) in Chattanooga, Tennessee is 89.3 °. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is not cool! With such high temps on the horizon, how will you ever beat the heat? Well.. The McCoy Homes Design Team has put together a list of 15 Tips to help you do just that!
Cool Your Home With These Five No-to-Low Cost Cool Down Tips
Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans + Run Exhaust Fans
Fans are a no brainer. The movement of air – in any direction – creates a welcome breeze on the hottest of the hot days. However, to maximize the effect of that breeze, make sure that your ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise in the summer.
Use the exhaust fans (called “potty puffers” in my house) to circulate the air and push warm air out of the dwelling spaces and into the attic.
Close Off Unused Rooms
If you’ve ever researched this tip, you’ll know that it is hotly debated in many online forums. Some say, “Obviously! Save energy and don’t try to cool rooms you’re not using!” Others say, “Actually, no! Closing doors throws the air pressure and flow out of balance and, therefore, makes your HVAC unit work over time.” Here are our thoughts on the issue:
- An HVAC system that is not equipped with zone controls will work to condition (heat/cool) a home in its entirety. Creating barriers (closing doors) will almost certainly make that system work harder. So we don’t recommend closing doors if you have an older, un-zoned HVAC system.
- A newer HVAC system that is equipped with zone controls will work to condition each zone individually. Creating barriers between each zone will prevent the unconditioned air from an inactive zone from mixing with the conditioned air from an active zone – and, therefore, help the system achieve desired temperature results more efficiently.
- Clear as mud?
Create Multi Directional Cross Breezes at Night
If – and only if – you have tightly fitted and undamaged screens AND the humidity is less than 30%, opening your windows at night can be a great way to cool down. Maximize the movement of air by opening a window from the bottom on one side of the room, and opening a window from the top on the other side of the room. This way, the air will move from side to side AND from bottom to top.
Swap Out Your Sheets
Obviously you’re not still sleeping under fleece or flannel. But, did you know that polyester sheets aren’t nearly so cool as Cotton or Bamboo? It’s true. Synthetic fibers just don’t breathe as well as natural fibers. And they don’t wick moisture (yes, you sweat when you sleep) either. So if you’re sleeping on or under polyester/microfiber sheets, you’re probably hotter than you have to be. We’re pretty fond of Ettitude’s Bamboo Sheets.
Cook Outside and Line-Dry Your Laundry
Using heat generating equipment – ovens, ranges and clothes dryers – will, of course, generate heat. When possible, try to avoid these appliances. Grill out of doors instead of using your range. Smoke your meat in an outdoor smoker instead of cooking it in your oven. Line dry your clothes instead of drying them in your dryer. When was the last time you slept on line-dried sheets? Honestly, it’s a real treat!
Cool Your Home With These Five Low-to-Moderate Cost Tips
Check Sealants, Weatherstripping and Insulation
A homeowner can waste a lot of money trying to cool/heat a “leaky” home. If you’re living in a new, McCoy Home, you’ve nothing to worry about! But, if you’re in an older home (or waiting to make an offer on the perfect McCoy Home ÄŸŸ˜‰) you should probably check the sealants around your windows, the weatherstripping around your doors and the insulation around your outlets.
Sealants, Weatherstripping and Insulation are the most obvious and, therefore, the easiest places to start checking for Air Leaks. Energy.gov has provided a list of 17 additional areas to check.
Install Window Covering, Shutters or Curtains to Control Light and Heat
Window Coverings and Blackout Curtains are great for regulating temperature year-round. Block the summer heat by closing curtains and blinds during the sunniest parts of the day. Open curtains and blinds at night to let the warm air out and the cool, night air in.
Dehumidify your Sleeping Rooms
Decreasing the relative humidity in a room can change the perceived temperature in that room by as many as 5 °. On a warm summer evening, that can definitely be the difference between comfort and misery.
Try a Chillow (A Chill Pillow – see what we did there?)
Everyone prefers the cool spot in the sheets and the cool side of the pillow. Why? We’re not sure. But it’s a universal fact and we just accept it. So here’s a link to our two favorite Chillows: Breeze ° Pro + Advanced Cooling Pillow and The PandaZZZ Copper Pillow.
Plant trees / Add Awnings
According to energy.gov a well designed landscaping plan can save enough energy to pay for itself in less than 8 years. In addition to reducing the amount of light (and the heat from it) in your home, properly placed trees can also reduce noise, improve air quality and increase channeled summer breezes.
Dig Deeper With A Home Energy Audit
In partnership with TVA’s EnergyRight Program, the Electric Power Board (EPB) provides FREE Energy Audits to homeowners within its service area. A professionally produced energy audit can be used as a road map to maximizing energy efficiency and properly Summer Proofing your Home.
Among other things, your Energy Audit will confirm that your HVAC system is properly sized and sealed, that the insulation in your home is adequate and was properly installed, that your doors and windows are air tight and that your appliances are doing all they can to help you beat the heat – and your energy bill.
At McCoy Homes we develop our space plans and build our custom homes with energy efficiency in mind! So homeowners living in a new McCoy Home don’t have to worry about energy efficiency. But if you’re not yet living in one of our homes and have questions about the energy efficiency of your older home, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be more than happy to try to help you and your family stay cool this summer!