Ah, yes! It’s summertime! The kids are out of school, and the pools are open, and it’s HOT! Nothing feels better than coming into a nice cool house after a hot bout of gardening, or a walk, or just about any other activity here in the Georgia sun!
After the first month of cranking up the AC, you get the bill. Energy costs are increasing, so you need to try to cut back. With some planning, you can cut down on the cost of cooling, and still keep things at an affordable rate.
Watch the time of day
First of all, don’t get your days and nights mixed up. During the day, when the sun is high and the air is hot, you should keep your house closed. Ventilate in the late evening and at night, by opening windows and/or using fans. Another trick to keeping the heat at a minimum is to use appliances that generate heat, like the dishwasher or the clothes dryer, at night.
Cooking, especially in the oven, can generate a lot of heat, and even if you have an exhaust fan, it can take a long time to dissipate that heat. Instead of roasts and casseroles, try top-of-the-stove, or slow-cooker meals. Better yet, grill out!
Install shades (preferably white) at all your windows, and use them strategically. When the sun is rising on the east side, close those shades, and then, when it begins to set on the western side, close those blinds. Experts say mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gains by 40-50 percent.
Strategic use of fans
If the temperature is below about 77 degrees, window fans can be a real energy saver. They should be placed on the downwind side of the house, facing out. Open a window in each room, and keep interior doors open to keep the cooler air flowing throughout the house. This is especially effective at nighttime.
When the AC is in use, ceiling fans can help save energy, too. To increase this efficiency, keep the paddles nice and clean. The fan should be turned to go slowly in a counterclockwise direction, thereby creating a downward flow of moving air to keep things cooler. You can set your thermostat at a few degrees higher with the judicial use of ceiling fans.
Another kind of fan that is making a lot of people happy is a solar attic fan. It runs on solar power, and is an exhaust fan that pulls the heat out of the attic. If the attic is cooler, you can cool the rest of the house more easily. Since it runs on free solar heat, that’s just a bonus, moneywise. While we’re at the top of the house, if you have to redo your roof, opt for a light color. Even if the roof is in good condition, you can paint it a light color, or even white to save money on cooling.
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There are ways to shade your house to save money. If you are going to plant trees, plan carefully. We know that there is less raking with evergreens, but there’s something to be said for native, deciduous trees. In the summer, they can shade your home, and help cut down on the heat, thereby making it easier to cool. Then, in the winter, when they’ve dropped their leaves, that allows the passive solar heat to help cut down on heating bills.
An awning on the south or west side of your house can help shade the high sun in the summer, but still allow the lower sun coming in at an angle to help heat your house in the winter. You can also put solar screens on your windows for the summer, and remove them for the winter.
The AC unit
Your air conditioner can be an important factor. If you have an older central unit, you might consider replacing the outdoor air compressor for a new one that is higher in efficiency, being careful to match it with your indoor unit. If you are in the market for a new unit altogether, do a little research first, and possibly even consult an air conditioning contractor, or an energy auditor, to be sure you choose the proper size.
It would be foolish to buy anything other than a high efficiency model. For a central unit, you will want to be sure it has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of at least 12. For room air conditioners, the energy efficiency ratio (EER) should be at least 10.
Your unit should also be one that removes humidity from the air, like those with variable or multi-speed blowers. In addition, proper maintenance is important for the efficiency of your unit, inside and out. For instance the outdoor unit should be kept clear of foliage, grass, leaves and debris. The filter on the inside unit should be cleaned at least once a month. A general maintenance once a year is recommended.
Keep your self cool
Be sensible about setting the temperature in your home. Why would you set it at a temperature that requires you to don a sweater in the middle of the summer? Make it so that you are comfortable in summer weight clothing.
Use common methods of keeping yourself cool, like a spritzer with essential peppermint oil diluted with water to cool your skin (keeping it away from your eyes, of course.) When you shower, do it in cooler water. You might keep a wet washcloth in the freezer to place on your neck for cooling.
A lot of people don’t think of this, but your diet can have an effect on your comfort. Hot, spicy foods, can make you well, hot. Salads, smoothies, iced drinks, and the like make good summertime fare. Keep some fresh fruits in the fridge, and even ice cream is good, within limits!
You can find many more ways of keeping cool without losing your shirt if you go online. Here’s a link to a good start – 23 Tips For Keeping The House Cool. The Davis Team is here to make sure you get a cool deal in real estate, summer or winter!
The Davis Team can advise you on any aspect of buying or selling a home. We can help you make buying or selling a home a wonderful experience! If you or someone you know is planning to sell or buy a home in 2017, we want to hear from you! Please contact us at DavisTeam@KW.com, or visit our website at www.eastgeorgiahomes.com. Let us help make your next move a rewarding and positive experience.
There is an interesting phenomenon developing in living space. People are moving outside. As a matter of fact, people are beginning to settle for less inside living space if they can have an active outdoor area. This is being expressed in a variety of ways, that appeals to almost any taste in activity. Whether it be on a back porch, a deck, a patio, or just a nice spacious backyard, we Americans are spending a lot of our time outside.
The look of wrought iron and molded plastic furniture is giving way to authentic woods and intricately woven wicker furniture. As a matter of fact, outdoor rugs are being used to create intimate furniture settings complete with colorful blankets, cushions and throw pillows. Also, dining sets made of real teak wood, and large enough to accommodate up to a dozen seats are becoming more and more popular. Read the full article here
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2017 Davis Team Referral Program
One of the highest compliments we can receive is when you entrust us with the real estate needs of your family and friends. We strive to provide exceptional service to every client, as each one is unique. We love to receive referrals, because that lets us know that our hard work has paid off. Beginning in 2017, we are starting a new program that rewards people who refer new clients to us. This is our way of saying “thank you” for taking the time to let us know that you have a friend, neighbor, or relative that needs our help. For details on the referral program, keep reading below. Get more details here