Although having a reliable, strong central AC is a basic utility in most Florida homes, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent heat from building and making your air conditioning less effective. Here are a few tips on how to keep your South Florida home as cool as possible this summer, helping you save on energy costs as well as maximizing comfort.
1. Light Blocking Curtains
Although a high octane air conditioner seems like the obvious choice for how to keep your home cool, don’t underestimate how dramatically sunlight can effect the interior temperature. Maintaining control over how much sunlight filters into your home, especially in the summer, makes a huge difference in temperature control. By investing in multiple protective coverings for your windows, you can prevent rooms from ever reaching such a high temperature that you have to blast the air conditioner more than usual. Maintaining temperature by keeping curtains shut during times of day with the most intense sunlight prevent heat from becoming trapped inside.
2. Install Outdoor Shutters or Blinds
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to reduce the heat in your home, Treehugger suggests installing shutters or external blinds. As any Southerner knows, the sun is a force to be reckoned with in the summer, and leaving it to stream into your windows can break the thermometer. The external shutter approach combined with light blocking curtains can make a huge difference in how frequently and at what setting you have to run your AC. By simply blocking out the sun during the day, your home will feel noticeably cooler, since one surefire way to lose a comfortable temperature is by trapping heat inside.
3. Make Sure to Insulate
Although it’s impossible to vacuum seal your entire home, sealing cracks and crevices where hot air can enter makes a huge difference in how much air conditioning power you then have to use to maintain a reasonable temperature. The smallest leak can make a huge difference in temperature, and it’s also a cost effective tactic that’s useful all year round. Make sure to use foam underneath window units, sweepers on doors, and always keep windows fully shut.
4. Bring Your Roof into the Light
One of the most effective ways to prevent heat from being absorbed by intense sunlight is to transform your roof into a “cool roof.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a cool roof is achieved by covering your roof with white or reflective pigments in order to reflect sunlight. When your roof is a dark color, it absorbs hundreds of degrees which then leads to excessive heat in your home.
The most useful lesson to take away here is that keeping your home cool doesn’t require intense air conditioning all the time. Rather, by taking a few simple measures such as shutters and remaining vigilant about preventing the sun from baking your home, maintaining a comfortable temperature for the duration of the summer is relatively simple. It’s also cost effective by reducing the amount of electricity required to constantly adjust the air conditioning, and will save you money in the long run.