Keeping our homes warm in winter and cool in summer can be costly business, but with a little smart thinking, we can achieve comfortable indoor temperatures quite economically. In fact, it’s even possible to save on the amount you’re already spending on heating and cooling without making your family layer up with warm clothes indoors in winter or swelter in the summer heat. Try these comfy tips and enjoy more comfort for less expense.
Right-Size Air Conditioning and Heating Systems
If your current aircon just isn’t doing the job, it could be a case of insufficient capacity – but choosing one that’s too large is an even worse mistake. Overlarge air conditioners tend to cycle on and off too fast – that means excessive humidity, unnecessary energy use, and a reduced lifespan for your unit.
This raises the question: “How can I determine what size air conditioner I need?” If you try to do this from scratch, it can be a surprisingly complicated process. Luckily, handy online tools help you to evaluate the capacity of your current unit and zero in on makes and models that will work for you. All you need to know is your US climate zone and the square footage of your home.
Use Insulating Drapes
Even in the absence of a full-scale HVAC system, you can keep indoor temperatures more comfortable by sealing in your home’s cool or warm air with insulating drapes. If you already have air conditioning, those drapes are still useful. By reducing temperature exchange through windows, your heating and cooling systems don’t need to work quite as hard.
Insulating drapes are also known as “blackout curtains.” And, they’re not as depressing as the name may sound. Their ability to exclude light comes from their thickness, and it can be very pleasant to draw them when you feel like a laid-back afternoon siesta.
Check Ceiling Insulation
When the sun bakes on the roof of your house, it can get unbearably hot indoors. In winter, you have the heating running flat out just to maintain a liveable temperature. These are signs that your house may lack insulation altogether, or that the insulation you have is insufficient.
Although floors and walls can also be insulated, the insulation between the roof and the ceiling is the most important place to check. It’s also one of the cheapest ways to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Plus, you’ll save on the energy you’d have used to cool or heat your home.
Choose the Right Trees for Your Garden
We’re inclined to forget the way outdoor landscaping influences indoor conditions. When buying trees, many people opt for evergreens because they think they’re less messy. But evergreens still make a mess.
Leaves aren’t immortal, and evergreens shed leaves all year round. Sure, deciduous leaves mean lots of raking in fall, but they also let the sunshine in during the colder months.
Choose the South and West sides of your home for planting deciduous trees so that your home is cool and shaded in summer and to take advantage of winter sunshine.
Last But Not Least, Color Counts
The color you choose for your home’s exterior, and the roof in particular, will affect indoor temperatures. Dark colors absorb heat while lighter ones reflect it. Choose climate-appropriate colors to suit the seasonal extreme that presents the greatest challenge.
If summer heat is your biggest problem, go for light, reflective colors. If winter’s cold leaves you wishing it could always be summer, a darker-coloured roof will help to keep interior temperatures higher.
Make the Most of Your Lucky Era
As a footnote, it’s worth remembering that we should never take air conditioning for granted. It wasn’t even invented until 1905, and most homes didn’t have it until the economic boom that followed World War 2. Comfy indoors? Count your blessings and enjoy that aircon! We truly have the divine lifestyle.