In case you've been living in a (nice, cool) cave all year and haven't noticed, the heat is on here in Olathe this summer, with heat indexes sitting comfortably in the triple digits and no relief in sight. That means just about every air conditioner in town is running pretty well nonstop. While constantly running your AC may be unavoidable in this kind of heat, it can also be hard on your cooling system and can lead you to need a little Olathe air conditioner service sooner than you might like.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help keep your house cool without overtaxing your AC. These include pulling the curtains and shades to block out the sun during the day, making sure that your ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise, not running the washer and dryer during the day, checking for leaks around doors and windows, and, of course, getting a summertime air conditioner tune-up to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. Those are all good ways to help keep your cool this summer, but we've also talked about them before. Here are 13 more unusual and brilliant ways to beat the heat that you may not have even considered!
Replace your incandescent light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are less energy-efficient than compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, and they also generate a lot of heat. A 12-pack of 60W LED bulbs will typically run you around $35, so it can be worth it to change out all the bulbs in your house and save your incandescent bulbs for the winter months.
Go vampire hunting! Turns out your house is infested with vampires that are sucking the cool straight from the air—and the money right out of your wallet! Always-on electronics use energy, even when you're not doing much with them, and they also give off heat. These include modems and routers, lights that you leave on even when you're not in the room, or appliances with built-in clocks. If it's using energy, it's also giving off heat, so turn off what you can.
Replace your pillows. A standard "fluffy" pillow tends to wrap around your head as you sleep. This might seem cozy, but it also traps heat, so it's like you're wearing a knit cap all night long. Try swapping out your fluffy pillows for smaller, firmer pillows and see what a difference it can make!
Throw some shade on your AC. Your air conditioner pulls in air from outside and cools it before sending it into your house. The hotter the air outside, the harder your AC has to work to cool it off. Getting some shade on your air conditioner can help to cool down the air around it, reducing the amount of work that it has to do. According to Energy.gov, this can increase efficiency by 10% or even more. If your AC isn't already in a shady spot and you don't have years to wait for a shade tree to grow, try picking up a canopy tent to set up over the air conditioner on especially hot days.
Install a solar attic fan. Heat rises, and that means your attic is probably full of hot air during the summer. Installing a solar fan that runs on sunlight can help to pull that hot air out of your attic, which can cut down on the work your air conditioner has to do to cool the air in the rooms below. You can pick up a solar fan at your local hardware store for as little as $200.
Open a bathroom window. When you get home on a hot summer day, a hot shower to wash off the sweat can really feel great. But hot showers create a lot of hot, humid air in the house. If you're planning to take a warm shower, close the bathroom door, turn on the fan, and open a window to help vent all that moist heat outside.
Buy a chimney balloon. Not sure what that is? Don't worry. They're easy to buy online and to install, and they're not too expensive. For around $40, you can get a balloon that seals off your fireplace flue to help save energy during the summer months when, let's face it, you're not very likely to build a fire. If you can't find one, a bag of "handy-fill" fiberglass insulation will also do the trick. Just make sure to keep it visible and remember to remove it before autumn.
Pump up the mattress. Upstairs rooms are typically several degrees warmer than those on the ground floor, so if you normally sleep upstairs, get out the air mattress and move to a ground floor room at night to keep cool.
Watch cool movies. If you're watching movies or TV shows in the evening before you go to bed, watching something that takes place in the dead of winter—or someplace really cold—will put you in a chilly mindset before you go to sleep. Fortunately, there are icy movies for every taste: Frozen, Wind River, Winter's Bone, The Shining, The Thing, Fargo, Fortitude, Happy Feet, Elf, etc.
Barbecue everything. There's more than one reason why grilling is inextricably associated with summertime. If you can avoid cooking lunch or dinner—or even breakfast—indoors, you can avoid heating up the house. So fire up the grill this summer!
Eat small. Ever heard of the "thermic effect of food?" Basically, it means that your body burns energy to break down what you eat, and that creates heat. That's why light meals are such a good idea on hot days. Giving your body less to break down means less thermic effect and less heat. Certain foods such as coffee, chili, hot wings, and anything that's heavy in spices can actually speed up your basal metabolic rate, which can also cause you to heat up.
Hand-wash the dishes. After you grill and enjoy that light meal, try washing the dirty dishes by hand. Running the dishwasher uses up energy and also generates lots of heat. Washing by hand knocks out both of those problems with one sink full of water.
Get on an HVAC maintenance plan. Unfortunately, many people don't think about getting an air conditioner tune-up until they run into a problem. By then, the heat is probably already on, and no one wants their air conditioner to give up the ghost on the hottest day of the year. Fortunately, a maintenance plan from your favorite Olathe air conditioner service company puts you on a schedule so that you don't have to think about your annual air conditioner tune-up. Your AC unit will already be in good shape for whatever high temperatures the summer may bring.
Davenport Service Company is based in Olathe, which means that we know how hot Kansas summers can get. That's why we offer a complete 25-point air conditioner tune-up as part of our regular maintenance plan. To get yours scheduled today, just call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222!