Cities Phoenix, AZ

Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Your Home Cool

Southwestern building

Southwestern buildingThis past August was tied for the hottest ever on record in Phoenix and the Valley.  How hot was it?!?!?  So hot that I can’t even summon the willpower to finish this joke…

Cranking up the cool air is the obvious solution, but the hum of your AC unit is also the sound of dollars evaporating, which to most of us is like nails on a blackboard in these tough times.  So what can you do to beat the heat without slashing your cash?  Why, it turns out quite a few things actually:

  • Think like a vampire: Team Edward, people!  Keep the sun out – shade your east-facing windows in the morning, west-facing in the afternoon, south-facing windows all day.  White shades deflect heat more efficiently.
  • Button-up, then ventilate: Close things tight during the day, then air it all out when it cools down during evening hours.  Box fans in your windows can speed this up.
  • Armor up: Use bamboo shades or woven screens on the outside of windows to prevent sunlight from warming the glass and transferring more heat.
  • Use your fans: A ceiling fan on low can reduce the apparent temperature 5-7 degrees, at a miserly cost of about $10 per 12 hours of use.
  • Save chores for later: Dishwashers, stoves & ovens (duh!), washing machines, and dryers generate a ton of waste heat.  Use them only at night if you have to.
  • Swap out old bulbs: Replace your incandescent bulbs with LEDs.  Also saves money on your electric bill, which is known as a ‘win-win’.
  • Dry off: Humidity is a real killer, shower at night and use the vent fan to remove excess steam.

There is no cure for the misery inflicted by weeks on end of 110° heat, but with these tips you should be able to keep things manageable during the day and steal a few precious hours of comfort during the night to maintain your sanity.

If you still can’t hack it, just pull the shelves out and move into your refrigerator until about November…!

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