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Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Cool

News Flash for our Michigan air conditioning customers:  You can keep your cool without losing your shirt this summer. Check out these effective, common sense  Home Cooling Tips:

 

1. Keep the Heat Out. Through proper insulation, you can reduce summer heat gain radically. Since as much as 60% of the heat entering your home gains access through ceilings and walls, insulation should be installed in ceilings—saving 35–45% on energy required for cooling and heating; and external walls—which can save you up to an additional 15%. Most homes can and should have insulation installed in the ceiling. If any recladding or replastering is being done in your dwelling, walls should also be insulated. There are specialized products on the market to insulate existing walls.

2. Seal It. As much as 15% of your home’s heat gain is caused through gaps around its exterior. The anecdote to this problem is to ensure draught proofing is installed around all external doors and windows, and that all other gaps to the outside are sealed.

3. Ventilate. An easy way to cool your home down is to open up doors and windows once it is cooler outside.  In the evenings, leave windows open to flush out hot air and allow the house to cool down. You may even run exhaust fans to accelerate the process. This may be an alternative on still nights or if your dwelling doesn't happen to face an incoming cool breeze. An especially effective ventilation tool is the whole-house extractor fan, which are similar to large exhaust fans and help expel hot internal air, replacing it with cooler outside air.

4. Implement Draft Prevention. Be aware of common sources of drafts, including:

  • External doors at their bases, and between the door and door jamb.
  • Windows - need to have weather-sealing tape installed between the sash and the frame.
  • Doors leading to the garage - be sure to seal these areas.

Products which seal gaps around doors and windows are known as draught excluders, draught strips, draught-seals, weather seals, or weatherstrips. These items are inexpensive and easy to install.

5. Make Shade. The sun's rays can be intercepted before they reach windows and heat up the rooms of your house. External shading has been proven to be more effective at keeping your home cool than either internal blinds or curtains. The method of shading you employ will depend on the direction that your windows face.

  • North-facing windows. Fixed horizontal shading devices - eaves and pergolas - are ideal for shadingnorth windows because they block the high summer sun, and yet still allow  the low level winter sun to shine through. Other alternatives for north-facing windows include  adjustable vertical shading such as canvas, blinds, awnings, roller or conventional shutters are also suitable for shading north windows .
  • East and west-facing windows. Your home could very quickly become overheated through windows facing this direction.  Canvas blinds, awnings or shutters are external vertical shading devices that are effective in keeping the sun's scorching rays out. Although they achieve some effect of repelling heat, eaves, pergolas and verandahs have only limited effect in blocking out the lower altitude morning and afternoon sun.

6. Cover Roof Glass. Things can really heat up in a room with any type of roof glass.  And without external shading, skylights and roof glass can also end up being an expensive  problem.  It is recommended that you always try to provide external shading. Specialized products are available, in addition to traditional shade cloth, that may help to reduce direct sunlight. Some homeowners utilize external blinds fitted on rollers - available for roof glass from many blind suppliers. Other options are tinted glass and reflective films that effectively reflect and absorb heat. This solution is less effective on north windows, as they actually reduce the amount of light and heat entering rooms in winter when the heat is needed.

7. Landscape.  Through careful selection and positioning of plants, nature can play a part in keeping your abode cooler this summer. Plants, for example, act as a buffer against hot winds and maximize the effect of cool changes. Providing shade to north windows, tall, deciduous canopy trees also still allow the rays of winter sun to peek through.  For shading east and west windows and walls, smaller, deciduous shrubs are useful. To help cool those hot summer winds, low shrubs, lush lawn or even a water feature facing north are beneficial.  Pavement can be a heat reflector, so it is best to avoid paving in front of north windows. Ground covers help reduce the effects of reflected heat. Some homeowners plant deciduous creepers over a north facing pergola to provide shade for windows and walls - doubling as a great outdoor entertaining area.

8. Close Unused Rooms. Rooms and areas that are largely unused can act as a buffer zone and effectively keep living areas cooler.

9. Lights Out. Just by keeping your use of lights and electrical equipment to a minimum in the summer can make a big difference in your home cooling costs.

10. Invest in a cost-effective Air Conditioning and Cooling System. As many Michigan air conditioning customers already know, there is nothing to help keep cool through a Michigan summer like air conditioning. 

Keep you and your family comfortable during the scorching heat of the summer months with top-rated brands such as Carrier, Lennox, and Trane - great choices to bring cool comfort to your home this summer.

 

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