Most of us are excited for summer to be here, with warmer temperatures, sunny days and of course the beach! But we can’t forget about the maintenance our homes need to keep cool on these hot, humid days. This week we thought we’d share a few helpful tips to keep your home in tip-top shape for our New England summer months:
1) Direction of ceiling blades
Did you know by adjusting the blades of your ceiling fan, it creates a cooler or warmer atmosphere? That little toggle switch on the side of your fan is there for a reason.
To achieve a cooler temperature your ceiling blades should be moving counter clockwise, which will aid in pushing the breeze downward. According to Casablanca Fan Company when you are using a ceiling fan you can then raise the thermostat setting, resulting in reduced air conditioning energy consumption of 40% or more while still keeping your room cool.
2) Close shades during the day
This is hard to do when we all want to enjoy the wonderful sunshine! Many pets make this a difficult process, too… But by keeping the shades or blinds closed during the day it will keep the hot sun from heating up the house and keep everything nice and cool. Research has shown you can reduce about 45% of heat coming into the house when the sun is out, by doing a simple thing such as closing the shades. If you have older single-pane windows, consider insulated drapes. Insulated drapes are not just for winter – they help in the summer time too, particularly on the southern- and western-facing windows that get the most sun exposure. And no, just because we told you to put the shades down, Premier Home Inspection Services is not responsible for your increased Vet bills!
3) Adjust the thermostat when you’re not home
We all love coming home to a cool house but it is more cost effective to raise the temperature when leaving for the day. “If you raise the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees when you’re away from home—or lower it by that margin during the heating season—you’ll save 10 percent each year on heating and cooling costs. Using programmable thermostat to ensure this temperature change occurs regularly could be a smart investment.”-Parade
Don’t have programmable thermostats? It’s a relatively affordable and DIY-friendly project. Chat with your friendly local electrical supplier or trusted hardware store – they’ll be happy to guide you through the process.
For more information on Programmable Thermostat and recommendations check out: www.consumerreports.org
4) Clean air filters
Cleaning your A/C unit or central air filter can make a BIG difference in the cooling process of your home. What effect can a clogged or dirty A/C filter have? A dirty filter will decrease the effectiveness of your air handler system, leading to a waste of energy and higher energy bills. Also by changing the filter regularly it helps keep better air quality and fewer allergens in the air. It is recommended to check the air filter monthly and to change the filter every three months.
5) Seal and insulate your attic hatch
We don’t always think of this first as we battle to keeping our house cool, but why is it important? Since the attic gets very warm in summer months (Well above 140 degrees (F), if the hatch is not insulated and sealed properly, a lot of heat will radiate in to the house. Sealing leaks and adding insulation can minimize airflow, improve the comfort in your home and contribute to lowering your energy costs.
Notice in this thermal imaging picture, the attic access panel temperatures are much less than the surrounding ceiling! Mother Nature has set the rules stating heat goes to cold. For example, this is why you can be standing in a nice, toasty 75 degree room in the middle of winter and feel cold because the wall temperatures are in the 50’s. The heat energy from your body is transferring to the colder walls. In this same way, heat radiates in to the house through your attic hatch. That is why it’s very important to make sure your hatch is well insulated!
And yes, we offer Thermal Imaging in Southern & Central NH to help you determine where your heating and cooling costs could be improved.
Premier Home Inspection Services would be happy to help you “see” where energy is escaping from your house if you are in the greater Bedford NH, Amherst NH, Hollis NH area, NH Lakes Region! Please give us a call today for more information or to set up a thermal imaging appointment.
Hopefully these few simple tips will help make it an enjoyable summer in New Hampshire. As always, if you have any future topics you would like us to discuss, please let us know!
Until next time,