Summer tiiiiime, and the air is steamy! I can handle the house being a bit warm, but as soon as it stays humid all night I need relief that open windows just won’t provide. And for those with allergies or asthma, I get it – opening the windows isn’t always feasible.
Whether or not you turn on your A/C, there are things you can do to help keep you more comfortable.
I’ve given you a week’s worth – try adding one per day for the next week, and keep it up all summer!
Close the blinds/curtains
It’s amazing what a difference this can make! For any windows that have direct sun exposure, close the blinds or curtains to keep the sun out. This is especially important on south- and west-facing windows where the sun is the strongest.
Install and use a programmable thermostat
If you have central air or a split system and don’t have a programmable thermostat, they’re worth the investment. Nest and EcoBee can even connect to your phone so you can adjust settings if you forget when you’re away.
Program the temperature higher during the day when you’re not home. 26-28°C or 79-81°F is a good range.
When you are home, don’t automatically drop the temperature below 26°C/79°F. Try dropping it half a degree at a time if you’re too warm. If you’re feeling hot, don’t just crank down the temperature – it won’t cool your house any faster and you’re more likely to let it stay colder (therefore wasting energy).
Try setting it for half a degree cooler than the current temp if you’re uncomfortable; often the house will feel cooler once some of the moisture is removed rather than the temperature dropping several degrees.
Make sure your filter is clean
If you have a furnace, check your filter at the start of each season and change it if it’s dirty. Your furnace has to work harder (and therefore uses more energy) if your filter is clogged. I typically recommend checking it every 1 – 3 months.
Air movement can help make you feel cooler without having to use air conditioning. Set up fans in the bedrooms to help you feel cooler over night, and in any rooms you spend time in during the day to help you feel comfortable without running the air conditioner as much.
Avoid the stove
BBQ or prepare cold salads so you don’t add heat to your kitchen from cooking. You could even take a picnic to a park or your backyard as your house cools down.
Take advantage of overnight temperatures
If the humidity drops overnight, turn off the A/C, crank open the windows (if health reasons don’t prevent you from doing so). Fans are great to help circulate the air too. Be sure to close the windows before the day heats up and if you turn your A/C back on.