Tips for keeping your home cool in the summer heat

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:52

    MILFORD—With summer quickly approaching, you are probably scrambling to find the air conditioner that will save you the most on energy costs. But before you turn your air conditioner on, the Pike County Builders Association has great tips for keeping your home cool in the summer while keeping energy bills down. First things first- check your weather stripping, caulking and insulation. Just like in the winter, leaks in your home will lead to skyrocketing energy bills. Be sure that your attic floor is also insulated. Keeping this barrier between the outdoors and your ceiling insulated is imperative to your home’s temperature comfort and could save you up to 30% on your energy bills. Roof and attic ventilators help to ensure that hot air in your attic can escape and the cooler air gets pulled in. With proper air flow, attic temperatures should not be any warmer than the outside air. Keep in mind that attics that aren’t properly ventilated can reach temperatures of more than 100 degrees. If you are still having a problem keeping the upper level of your home cool, consider painting your roofing shingles a light color. Lighter colors reflect the heat and can make a dramatic difference in how much heat your home absorbs. Inside your home, there is one simple thing you can do that will reduce the heat gain from the sun by forty percent - closing your blinds! Windows that aren’t shaded from the sun by awnings or shutters are good candidates for reflective solar film. Solar window films reflect light and help to reduce the heat gain through windows in your home. Installing solar film can be an easy, do-it-yourself job. When the weather requires that you use your air conditioner, each degree you raise your thermostat can save you 5 to 7%. Keep the thermostat between 78 and 82 degrees. These are the temperatures experts say are the most comfortable. If you will be away from your home four hours or more, keep the thermostat at 82 or turn off the air conditioner. Most importantly, make sure your air conditioning system is running at its peak. Replace your air conditioning filters each spring and fall and clean washable filters monthly. Check the performance of your system. To do this you will need a thermometer to compare the temperature reading between the return air ducts and the register nearest to the unit. The difference should be about 15 degrees, anything less than 12 signals a problem with the unit. Be sure to check the air flow inside and outside the house and if it isn’t blocked call an air conditioning service technician. Qualified technicians can be found online at By following these simple, easy tips, you won’t sweat about your upcoming summer energy bills. Keep in mind if you need assistance with the tips above, the Pike County Builders Association has a list of qualified builders, HVAC technicians and even remodelers to help you get your home in its peak energy shape. For more information please visit or call 570-296-5589.