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While summer is a wonderful time, many of us look for ways to keep the house cool while avoiding exorbitant utility bills. The St. Louis summers are hot, and keeping the house comfortable can cause our utility bills to skyrocket during the peak months of June, July, and August. We’ve assembled some ideas to help keep your home cooler this summer without your energy bills getting out of hand:
Large windows that let in a great deal of natural light are a selling point for any home, but during the summer months, the more sunlight that comes in, the faster the house is going to heat up. Consider investing in window coverings that block out the sun during the hottest times of the day — particularly in the rooms that face south and west. Blackout curtains, thermal shades, or interior shutters all work very well. You’ll want to go with a heavier material for maximum cooling.
If you don’t want to keep the house closed up and dim all day long, think about creating some external shade. If you have large trees outdoors that filter or block the sun, you may already have an ample amount of external shade to help cool your home. If you don’t, you can install a sunshade or add awnings or some lattice.
This is helpful in both the summer and the winter, and only needs minimal maintenance once it’s done the first time. Seal up all of the areas where air may be coming in. A minor crack may seem like it wouldn’t be of much concern, but if you add up every small leak, you’ll see that air is coming in whether it be the summer heat or the winter cold. Check the weather stripping and caulking around your doors and window frames, fill in any small holes along your baseboards, and be sure to close the fireplace flue. Once done, you can be sure that the cool air will stay in and the hot air will stay out.
Modify Your Cooking Habits
Changing up your cooking routine and your menu during the summer months can be surprisingly helpful. Skip baking, braising, or boiling your food during the hottest time of the day, and instead use a crockpot or outdoor grill rather than the range. Or avoid any heat by choosing cold preparations like sandwiches and salads.
If something requires electricity to power it, it’s going to create heat. Put off your household chores that require appliances (washing machine, dryer, dishwasher) until the evening or early in the morning.
These tips will certainly help to lower your summer utility bills, but they’ll also keep you from overworking your HVAC unit, leading to fewer repairs.
If you’d like to talk more about any of these ideas, or if we can be of assistance with something else, please reach out to us. We’re always happy to help.