They’re called the “dog days” of summer — the hottest days of the year. They usually start mid-July and continue, well, they can continue for quite a while here in the upper Midwest. It’s the time of year we’re all looking for ways to keep cool, especially when we’re at home. But, hopefully, we don’t have to spend a fortune doing so. There are actually quite a few home cooling options for homeowners that won’t break the bank.
Heat Hacks for Homeowners
Here are some tried and true tips for keeping your home cool during the summer. They’re easy to do and are very economical.
- Keep blinds and drapes closed during the day. Windows and glass doors are responsible for much of the heat gain in your home. Keeping them covered during the heat of the day will cut down on cooling costs. That’s especially true for west- and south-facing windows and doors.
- Use fans throughout your home. This helps keep air flow moving, as will running your furnace blower on continuous mode.
- Keep inside doors open. This helps keep air flowing throughout your home.
- Open windows at night. On those evenings when the temps get cooler, opening windows can help cool down the whole house. You can speed the process by turning on window fans, as well.
- Use appliances sparingly. Using the oven is an obvious form of heat, but all appliances give off some heat. Outdoor grilling is a great substitute for the oven or stove. Run the dishwasher at night and on alternate days if you can. Also, do your laundry at night — or early in the morning — and run shorter washing and drying cycles when you can.
- Consider taking cool or even cold showers. Not only will this cut down on the heat from the shower itself, it may even be more refreshing than a hot shower. If you have bathroom fans, make sure to run them during the shower and even after, until the heat and humidity from the shower are fully vented.
Oh, and even though you may find your dog playing in the grass, tongue hanging out, and snoozing through a hot summer afternoon, that’s not really why they’re called “dog days.” That term is a reference to the “dog star” Sirius, which rises mid-July, a harbinger of the hottest days of the year.
New or Upgraded Central Air
When it comes right down to it, central air conditioning is the most effective means of keeping your home cool in these “dog days” of summer. Today’s models — especially variable speed units — are more efficient than ever, costing less to run while providing the ultimate in home comfort. If you've stopped relying on your current unit or it’s just not doing the job you need, it may be time to talk to your local HAVC pro about a replacement or upgrade.
If you don’t yet have central air, now may be the perfect time to look at your options, including the popular ductless systems. Carrier has air conditioning solutions for just about any situation. And right now, they’re offering some terrific rebates.