The weather is heating up here in Manassas and the DC metropolitan area, and for many homeowners, this means running an air conditioner constantly. When temperatures climb into the 90s and above, living and working in an environment that’s difficult to cool can be uncomfortable to say the least.
The Ultimate Solution is to Air Seal & Add Insulation
If you really want to keep the heat out, there’s no better solution than a combination of air sealing and insulation. Insulation works similar to a koozie on your favorite cold beverage. It slows the hot outdoor air from entering via conduction – just as the koozie keeps the hot air from warming up your drink. Air sealing closes off various cracks and gaps located throughout the home to prevent air from making its way in. Without these two elements in place you could be running an air conditioner all day long on the second floor, only to have that cool air drop to the first floor being replaced by the hot air coming in from a lack of insulation and air sealing.
Additionally, when you do have to turn on your air conditioner it will be able to cool the home without having to work extra hard, which means lower energy bills, improved comfort, and a longer lifespan for your AC.
If your air sealing and insulation are up to par, there are a few other things to keep you cool in the summer without having to reach for the thermostat:
1. Keep Hydrated
If there’s one thing you need to focus on when it’s extremely hot outside, it’s keeping your body temperature down as much as possible.
What’s the most effective way to do that? Drink water. Skip the soda, juices and alcoholic beverages, all of which will do nothing but lead to increased dehydration. Seltzer or regular flat water are the best options—even frozen ice pops can help to stave off the hot summer sun and keep you hydrated.
2. Break Out the Fans
As you might expect, the next best thing when you want to give your AC a break is a couple of fans. Whether they’re overhead, standing or in-window units, fans work by moving air around swiftly, which feels cool once it touches moist skin. They can be extra effective if you close all your blinds, and you can make special use of overhead fans by changing their directions to counter-clockwise, which helps to push cool air back down.
3. Take Advantage of “Window Cycling”
Cycling your windows can be a great way to keep a home cool. You can do this by closing all of your windows and doors during the morning and afternoon hours when the sun is beating down the most, then opening them at night and allowing cool air to flow through the home during evening hours. Once you develop the practice of window cycling, it’ll likely become second nature.
4. Switch Out Your Light Bulbs
Did you know that traditional incandescent bulbs typically waste around 90% of their energy in the form of heat output? As you might expect, this can contribute to the overall temperature of your home, and any excess heat can make all the difference in the world during the summer months. Switching out your traditional bulbs for CFLs or LEDs will not only result in a cooler home, but reduced energy bills, too.
5. Cook Outside!
Getting outside and grilling is not only an excellent way to enjoy the summer sun with friends and family, but it will keep your home or apartment much cooler than if you were to cook indoors as that added heat gain is no longer inside your home envelope. In addition, grilling is a healthy way to prepare food, and clean-up can be a breeze.