Did you know Southern California sees more sunny days than almost anywhere in the entire United States? All the sunshine we get can lead to hot temperatures and unfortunately, high utility bills as your air conditioner works overtime to cool your home.
In today’s blog post, we’ll talk about a few innovative ways you can keep your home cool even during the hottest days of the summer here in Southern California.
1. Invest in a Whole House Fan
Most homeowners in Southern California rely on their air conditioner as their primary method of cooling their homes. This is a mistake.
Installing a whole house fan is an investment that will add value to your home and pay for itself. If you’re not familiar with whole house fans, think of it like an exhaust system for your house. A fan installed in your attic exchanges hot air inside your home for cooler air from the outside your home. Whole house fans are quiet, use a fraction of the electricity used by an air conditioner, and best of all, they really work.
2. Place Ceiling Fans Throughout Your Home
Ceiling fans are one of the most efficient ways to circulate air in your home– especially if your home has high ceilings. It’s a common misconception, but ceiling fans don’t actually cool the air in your home. Instead, by moving air, they increase evaporation on your skin, helping you to feel cooler.
A high-quality ceiling fan can also be used as part of your home cooling plan, moving hot air out of your home and drawing in cool air. Additionally, during the cooler winter months, ceiling fans can pull warm air away from the ceiling and down into your home’s living areas.
3. Examine Insulation & Ductwork
If your home is too hot, there may be a problem with your insulation and ductwork. Leaky and poorly insulated ducts can trap hot air inside your home and aren’t efficient at moving cool air around your home.
An experienced contractor can inspect your home’s insulation and ducts to make sure there aren’t any problems with your insulation contributing to your hot home and high electric bills.
4. Make Good Use of Blinds, Shutters & Curtains
Windows (even when they’re closed and insulated properly) allow a lot of heat into your home in the form of sunlight. High-quality blinds, shutters, and curtains can minimize the amount of sunlight let into your home and reduce the rate at which your home heats up on a hot summer day.
The more sunlight and radiant heat entering your home, the harder your air conditioner will have to work. It’s a good idea to cover your windows with blinds or curtains whenever you’re going to be out of your home for a long period of time (like when you’re at work for the day).
Don’t Forget About Your Pets!
Important: When thinking about the temperature of your home, think about the comfort and safety of your pets. Cats, dogs, and other pets can overheat quickly, so before you turn off your air conditioner, make sure they will be safe and happy!
If you have questions about safe temperatures for your pet, talk to your veterinarian.
5. Eat Out & Spend More Time Away From Home
A home cooked meal is delicious, but running your stove and oven can produce a lot of heat that will get trapped inside your home. Think about easy- to- make meals that don’t need to be heated up or meals you can cook outdoors on a BBQ grill. Not only is cooking out (or going to eat) fun, but it’s a great way to avoid adding more heat to your already warm home.
When the weather heats up and your home gets too hot, just leave! If you live in Southern California, you can:
- Visit the library
- Go to the movies
- Shop at the mall
- Take a trip to the beach
6. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
If you’re shopping for a new washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, oven, or even a television, look for the EnergyStar logo! Energy efficient appliances use less electricity and emit less heat. The savings may seem small but when multiplied over every appliance in your home, the savings can really add up.
In addition to appliances, you can reduce heat in your home by replacing old light bulbs with modern energy efficient LEDs. LED light bulbs run cooler than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, last longer, and use less electricity, too. Recent advancements in technology have improved the quality, color, and tone of the light put off by LEDs, too. Most people can’t even tell the difference.
Look for LED light bulbs on sale and stock up!
7. Have You Thought About Solar Panels?
Have you tried everything you can to make your home more energy efficient and keep it cool? Are you still shocked by high electric bills? Well, stop paying the utility company and become the utility company!
A residential solar panel system will help you take back the power! Solar panels can reduce your reliance on the electric companies and can lower your electric bill. In some cases, you may not pay any electric bill at all! If you’d like to learn more about how a solar panel system can increase your home’s value and provide valuable tax credits, contact us today. We can talk to you about your options and design a solar panel system for your home!
Bonus Idea: Plant a Tree
This is a much longer- term investment, but the shade provided by a tree is one of the best ways to keep your home cool! Unfortunately, drought in our area has made it difficult to keep many trees healthy between rain showers. Luckily, however, there are still a few good options for Southern California shade trees!
Consider planting trees like a:
- Texas Umbrella Tree
- Fern Pine
- Camphor Tree
The investment and effort will be worth it!