09 June 2015
Keep Cool for Less This Summer

“Whoa, it is some kind of hot out there! You could fry an egg on that sidewalk!”

We hear that a lot each summer. Natives, tourists, folks just passing through – all seem to have similar views ofNevadain summer. It gets hot. Real hot. Plus,  to keep it cool costs a lot of money. Running the AC 24/7 will pump up your electrical bill unless you take time to cool off for less. Here are some suggestions on how to do just that.

Start by adding more insulation to your house. Sure, it keeps heat in during cool months, but insulation also keeps out hot air.

Start by insulating the floor of the attic. It’s like an oven up there! Gradually add more and more insulation to exterior walls, floors, the crawl space under the house if you have one. Insulate against the broiling Nevada sun to save on cooling costs in summer and heating costs in winter.

If you’re not real handy, or if climbing up into the attic presents a “clear and present danger” to your health, hire a professional to insulate the house. Be careful, and don’t do more than you know you can handle.

Add an attic fan. The sun hits the roof and heat collects in the attic, raising the interior temperature throughout the house. Install an attic fan to suck out the hot air up there. If an attic fan is more than you want to spend (an electrician should wire an attic fan), just place a box fan in front of the attic vents to pull out hot air from inside the house.

Tune up and turn down the AC. First, get your AC unit serviced by a reputable HVAC service. Do it every year and get the most efficient cooling for your money. Next, give the old AC a rest. Run it during the hottest part of the day – usually from noon to dusk – but turn it down, or turn it off at night when things cool down.

Use fans instead of the AC. Moving air across the skin evaporates sweat and cools down the body. A box fan costs a lot less to run than AC, so if it gets too hot, turn on some fans to move some air. Save the AC for those real scorchers.

Use nature’s coolant – shade. If the sunlight doesn’t reach the house, you’re less likely to be sweltering inside. Add awnings to windows that get a lot of sun. Also, use white or light-colored black-out shades to keep sunlight from heating up the house.

Don’t heat up the house. The stove, the clothes dryer, even appliances and electronics generate heat. Use them less and keep things cooler for less.

Close up the house. Windows and doors let heat in. Close up the house to keep cooler this summer.

Add ceiling fans in really hot rooms. They circulate the air, cooling the entire room. Again, if wiring a ceiling fan sounds like something you shouldn’t do, pick out your unit and then call a licensed electrician to install it.

Open the windows at night. In some parts of Nevada, it can be blazing hot in the afternoon and chilly at night. If that’s the case where you live, open the windows at night when the air cools down. Close them in the morning before the sun has time to heat up the air (and your house).

Add indoor plants. Plants absorb light and heat from the sun and release moisture into the house. Not only is it a low-cost way to keep cooler, but your place will look prettier with lots of greenery.

If you live in Nevada, you live with summer heat. But you don’t have to be uncomfortable. You can keep yourself cooler during those hot summer months, save money, and enjoy the Nevada summer.

 

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.

 

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