Summers in Colorado are the time we can get the most enjoyment out of our famous 300+ days of annual sunshine. The sun is out for much of the day, and warmer temperatures make the season an ideal time for hiking, biking, camping, and a wide range of beloved outdoor activities.
Unfortunately, hot summer days can create comfort and energy usage issues in the home. If you have central air, you may see a steep increase in your energy bill from continuously running the air conditioning. If you don’t have central air, you may have to run fans or swamp coolers that only improve the temperature in one room or area of the house.
At REenergizeCO, we make it our mission to help homeowners in Denver, Fort Collins, and the Front Range save money on energy. Here are 6 energy-saving tips for your home and lifestyle to help you beat the heat at the height of summer.
Home Improvements for an Energy-Saving Summer
1. Check Windows and Doors
On a hot summer day, you may be grateful for a draft that cools down parts of the house. However, drafty windows and doors are a leading cause of energy loss in the home.
Take the following steps to see if a drafty window or door (or more than one) is causing issues:
- Run your hand along the frame of each window or door to feel for cool or warm air entering the house
- Perform a visual inspection of weather stripping, caulking, and other seals
- Make sure each door and window is aligned with the frame
Fixing a drafty door may require repair and replacement of certain parts, such as the hinges, weatherstripping, etc., or replacement of the door itself. Similarly, windows may need to be re-caulked or have weatherstripping replaced, or window replacement may be necessary if degradation or an energy-inefficient design is the problem.
2. Check Insulation
Proper home insulation makes perhaps the single biggest difference between a house that is comfortable and efficient in the summertime versus one that is uncomfortable and costs you money. Your insulation needs to be able to retain cool air while keeping out the hot air on the exterior of your home.
Although absent, degraded, or insufficient insulation can be a problem anywhere in your home, a few key places to check in summer include:
- The attic
- The garage
- Walls (especially those with doors or windows built into them)
- Air ducts
- Ceilings and floors
In Colorado, it is crucial to have home insulation that can withstand extreme temperature changes. Just this year we have seen temperatures go from the low 80s to nearly 100 and back down again within the space of only one week.
3. Check the Sun’s Patterns
The areas of your home that will heat up the most early in the day are the rooms facing east. As the sun moves, the rooms on the western side of the house will get hotter.
With the position of the sun in mind, you can modify your A/C usage, running of fans, and more based on the time of day. For example, you may be able to keep eastern-facing rooms cool simply by closing the blinds and opening the windows. As the day heats up, you may need to turn on fans or air conditioning to cool rooms on the west side.
If you can adjust your opening of the house and use of appliances to take advantage of natural cooling, you may be able to keep your energy costs under control. However, if these steps are not enough, you may need a home energy audit to determine where you’re losing energy – and money.
Lifestyle Changes for Comfortable Summer Living
1. Exercise Intelligently
Whether you have a home gym of the outdoors is your fitness space, it is important to time your workouts to the weather. You run the risk of overheating if you exercise at the hottest time of the day between late morning and mid-afternoon, and you may feel sluggish for the rest of the day after exerting yourself in such hot temperatures.
If you work out early to mid-morning or in the early evening, you will be much more comfortable.
2. Make Adjustments to Your Menu
Colorado cuisine is a melting pot of different flavors. Although spice may be a fixture of many people’s favorite dishes, you might find that more than your taste buds get hot if you are still eating foods with a lot of chili powder, cayenne pepper, and other ingredients with a lot of heat.
You feel cooler when you eat cooling foods. Spices like mint and dill may be a more comfortable choice, especially when paired with refreshing fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, and (of course) watermelon.
3. Cool Down with DIY Solutions
If you are struggling with uneven cooling of your home or you’re trying to minimize your use of fans and air conditioning, there are steps you can take for a quick cooldown. Moisten a towel or washcloth with cool water, then apply it to areas like the back of your neck, your armpits, and the bend of your knees.
The areas where you can feel your pulse are the best places to position your cold compress. One strategically placed compress can make your whole body start to feel cooler.
Learn How REenergizeCO Can Help You Save on Energy
If you are having trouble beating the heat or controlling your energy bill this summer, REenergizeCO can help. Our team can perform a professional home energy audit and provide an estimate on services that can help you rein in costs and enjoy a more comfortable home.
Please contact REenergizeCO today with your questions about energy savings. We serve homeowners in Denver, Fort Collins, and throughout Colorado’s Front Range.
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