Just like winter in St. Louis can cause your HVAC system to run nonstop to keep your home warm, summertime causes HVAC systems to run all day to cool down our homes. An HVAC system running all day makes for an expensive energy bill, especially now with the rising cost of electricity.
Luckily, there are measures you can take to keep your home energy-efficient this summer despite the heat. Keep reading for some tips so you can stay cool while saving some money on your energy bills.
1. Keep the Sun Out
In the winter you want to let the sunshine into your home, however, you want to keep it out during the heat of the day all summer long. While we love drawing the blinds in the evening for some privacy and opening them to light up our homes during the daytime, you’ll want to keep them drawn until the early evening hours. Keeping blinds drawn will keep the sunshine out, leaving your home cooler. According to the Department of Energy, drawn blinds can significantly reduce heat gain during the hot summer months. To take it a step further, invest in some blackout curtains to keep all sunlight out, potentially saving you quite a bit of money on your next energy bill.
2. Cook Outdoors
We use our stoves and ovens daily to cook meals for our families. While baking delicious meals in our ovens and whipping up some great food on the stove sounds tasty, frequent use of stoves and ovens in the summer months can make your home even warmer, causing your HVAC system to work harder. Each time you turn on the stove or reach in and out of the oven, your home’s temperature will rise.
Rather than make every meal on the stove or in the oven, opt for grilling some meals outdoors each week. Grilling will keep the heat outdoors where it belongs. Not only can you save quite a bit of money on your energy bills by cooking more meals outdoors, but you’ll also enjoy delicious grilled foods. It’s a win-win!
3. Counter-Clockwise Ceiling Fans
Many of us turn on ceiling fans when it gets a little too warm in a certain room. Did you know that they don’t cool down a room? Ceiling fans move stagnant air around a room making it feel cooler. Using fans in conjunction with your A/C will keep you cooler, allowing you to increase your thermostat a few degrees and save a little on your next energy bill. When you do turn on your ceiling fans, be sure to set them to run counterclockwise. Changing the direction of the spinning blades will allow the air being circulated to push down, making you feel cooler and creating that wind effect.
While it sounds like it’ll add quite a bit to your monthly energy bills, running a ceiling fan as opposed to running an air conditioner can use less than ⅓ of the energy it takes to run an air conditioner. If you opt to run your ceiling fans for a long time then feel free to turn your thermostat up a few degrees to see a noticeable difference in your energy bill. Just be sure to turn ceiling fans off when you leave the room as again, they don’t lower the temperature.
4. Keep Hot Air Out
Hot summer air can find its way into your home easily by way of windows and doors even when they’re closed. If you’ve ever walked by a window or door and felt a draft then you most likely have cracks in the sealant or the caulk of your windows and doors. Hot outside air entering your home through these cracks could result in higher energy bills since your HVAC unit has to work in overdrive to cool down your home.
Inspect the caulk around your windows to ensure there’s a tight seal. If there are some cracks then odds are cool air from your home is escaping and hot air is entering your home. If the drafts are mild then reapply caulk and add weatherstripping around your windows. If your windows seem to have major drafts, contact a window installation company for fixing drafty windows and doors.
Hot air can also enter a home by way of poor insulation. Insulation works to slow down convective and conductive heat to move air to areas of your home, keeping warm air inside your home during the winter months and blocking hot air from entering your home during the summer months. If you notice some rooms in your home are warmer than others then it’s probably because of poor insulation. Not only can poor insulation increase your energy bills, but it can also affect your home’s gutter system during the winter months by allowing heat to escape the home, melting snow and ice that results in ice dams.
There are many reputable insulation companies in the St. Louis area, so be sure to contact one if you notice ice dams in your gutters during winter or if your home has a hard time retaining cool air in the summer.
Implementing any of the tips above will make your home more energy-efficient, resulting in cheaper energy bills. Summer in the St. Louis area is a scorcher – keep your home a cool oasis to escape the summer heat.
As previously mentioned, poor insulation can lead to gutters forming ice dams due to warm air escaping the home and melting snow and ice. While winter is a ways away, it is a great idea to get your gutter system ready for the season in advance. Our gutter product can withstand all weather conditions including heavy downpours, hail, strong wind gusts, ice storms, and snow. Ice and snow easily build up and collect in traditional half-round gutter systems, resulting in ice dams. The K-Guard System can help prevent snow and ice buildup, protecting your home and your loved ones from dangerous ice dams.
Schedule a free in-home estimate with K-Guard today. Our free estimates include a detailed analysis of your current gutter system along with estimated costs for installing your K-Guard Gutter System. K-Guard proudly offers our gutter installation service to homeowners in St. Louis and surrounding areas including, but not limited to, the following locations: