Beat the Heat this Summer

Summer months can bring some of the highest energy costs of the year with the high demand for air conditioning. Keeping your home comfortable can be expensive, but not everyone realizes it can also be dangerous. If your air conditioner runs too often, it can stress your home’s electric system and put you at risk for shock or fire.

To avoid a tragedy, and save money, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity has the following tips for energy efficiency this summer:

Update Your Insulation
This will keep cool air inside your home and hot air out. You can add more insulation on top of existing insulation in your attic. For more information on the type of insulation you should use, visit with your local HVAC technician.

Ventilate the Attic
When the outside temperature is in the 90s, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit! Adequately sized vents and/or an attic fan can help keep hot air from building up.

Air Conditioner Tips
A clean A/C unit allows air to move more freely, so be sure to take a moment and clean your air conditioner. Shut off power to the unit before cleaning it. On the inside, wash or vacuum cleanable filters, and replace disposable ones. Outside, clear leaves and other debris away from the condensing unit. Hose off any accumulated dirt. It’s a good idea to call a professional to inspect your unit early in the summer.

Put a timer or programmable thermostat on your air conditioner. Leave it on a higher temperature while you’re away, and set it to cool the house half an hour before you return home. Avoid unnecessary trips in and out of the house. Heat and humidity come in each time you open the door.

Set lamps, TV sets, computers and other heat-producing devices away from the air conditioner thermostat. Their heat could cause the thermostat to register a higher temperature and keep the air conditioner running more than necessary.

Open windows and doors and let outside air cool your house on moderate days.

Keep the Sun Out
Close blinds, shades or draperies during the hottest part of the day. Consider planting fast-growing trees and shrubs near your home (away from power lines), to provide shade.

Now is the time to make a few changes around your home to prepare for the extreme, hot weather. With a few tweaks and inspections, it’s easy enough to make sure you’re in good shape by the time summer is in full swing!

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