Looking for ways to beat the summer heat? Our president and CEO Mike Bidwell
shared the following advice with The Weather Channel. Here are some tips
to stay cool and save money during a heat wave, courtesy of Neighborly!
Neighborly is a community of home service experts. As locally owned and operated
franchises, we are united by quality and service standards that make us
one of the most trusted providers for home improvement, repair and maintenance.
Tip #1: Manage Your Air Flow
- Installing ceiling fans could cut costs by as much as 40 percent in the
summer! Make sure your ceiling fan is switched to “counterclockwise”
rotation in the summer months so that air is forced down instead of up
toward the ceiling.
- Change your HVAC system air filter every three months or sooner. Dirty
air filters reduce airflow and inhibit your HVAC system’s ability
to effectively cool your home. Make sure the filter is the proper fit
for the system and filter efficiency for your family’s needs.
- Dust, debris and other blockages can build up over time, restricting the
airflow through your HVAC system ducts. Have your ducts cleaned every
three years so your AC unit works more efficiently.
Tip # 2: Take Control of Your Thermostat
- Set your thermostat to no lower than 78 degrees during the summertime.
According to Energy Star, you can save you 12 percent compared to setting
your thermostat to 74 degrees fahrenheit.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat. Just by increasing your
thermostat eight degrees while you're at work or sleeping can save
an average of $180 each year.
- Refrain from placing lamps or heat-generating appliances near your thermostat.
The thermostat will not be able to accurately determine the room temperature
and may not run as efficiently.
- Run exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to minimize
indoor humidity and avoid that “hot and sticky” feeling.
Tip #3: Invest in Energy-Efficient Upgrades
- Swap your incandescent light bulbs for cooler, more efficient alternatives
like CFLs or LEDs. Incandescent bulbs give off 90 percent of their energy
as heat - every little bit counts!
- Install dimmer switches to reduce wattage used, which helps lower your
energy bill. Also, be sure to turn off lights when not in use.
- Install an attic ventilator fan to let heat escape. Attics can reach more
than 150 degrees in the summer! Ventilator fans push out hot air and draw
in cooler air, reducing strain on your home’s AC system.
- If your air conditioner is eight or more years old, consider replacement.
A new system is an investment that will help you save on your energy bills
and reduce the need for expensive, repeated repairs.
- Enlist a professional to clean your dirty condenser (outside AC unit) to
allow greater air flow and distribution across the coil. A service technician
will also oil the motors and check the refrigerant charge and electrical
components for safety hazards.
Tip #4: Deck Out Your Windows & Doors
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar heat gain through windows
accounts for up to one third of the cooling costs in your home. Place
reflective film on windows to reduce the sun’s harmful rays and
block 99 percent of ultraviolet rays. This film still allows 100 percent
- Install shades and drapes and keep them closed during the day.
- Create your own shade by adding awnings over the windows.
- Install double pane windows with low-E coatings to keep hot air out. Double
pane windows work with your air conditioning, not against it, to ensure
you’re getting your money’s worth!
- Does your front door face the west during the day’s hottest hours?
Consider adding glazing and coatings to protect the interior from UV rays
on a door’s glass, either on the door, above or to the side. This
also helps resist break-ins and muffle sound.
- Consider switching to steel and fiberglass doors over wood doors. They
offer superior energy efficiency - having double-paned glass aids in these efforts!
- Keep direct sunlight at bay during the summer with strategically planted
trees for natural shade.
Tip #5: Seal the Leaks
- Check for air leaks around doors and windows by holding a candle near these
areas. If the flame moves, you’ve detected a leak.
- Add weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent drafts and reduce
- Check that the handles on your windows are in the locked position to ensure
they are closed and sealed. Unlocked windows allow a small gap and energy loss.
Other Ways to Conserve Energy Any Time of Year
- Run heat-generating appliances (dishwasher, stove, etc.) when the sun goes
down. In addition, turn off the heated dry feature on your dishwasher.
This small switch saves 10 to 15 percent of the dishwashers’ total
- Use a smart power strip. Smart power strips cost about $20 and provide
surge protection while helping fight “energy vampires” and
safeguarding your electronics from power surges and overloads.
- Avoid using appliances during “peak power” times, which vary
by season and by electrical company. Call your provider for up-to-date
information so you can use energy-draining appliances during “off-peak”
times of the day.
- Wash laundry in cold water. Ninety percent of the energy used to wash your
clothes is attributable to water heating. Only 10 percent goes to washer
- Lower the temperature on your tank-style water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
for substantial savings. Take shorter showers and turn off your water
heater tank while you’re on vacation to save even more!
Need a professional to help you with these tips? Get started by connecting
with a local
Neighborly home service expert.
Looking for more tips and tricks for your home?
Explore our Neighborly Advice page.