Arizona is hot. Sometimes unbearably so. It almost makes one wonder why people stopped here when pulling their wagons west. Well, they had some ways of beating the heat that have fallen out of common usage, for one. Secondly, it’s beautiful here. But we’re here to talk about the heat today, not the beauty, and how to be cool in it.
Let’s go over the ways you can stay cool, without ever needing to adjust the thermostat.
8 Ways To Beat The Heat In AZ
Here are 8 effective ways to help you and your family beat the heat, while indoors.
1. Block Sunlight
Short of putting up tinfoil on the windows, try and block out as much direct sunlight as you can. You don’t have to have all the blinds drawn and live in a cave-like atmosphere but installing sun-blocking blinds, shades, or curtains and closing the ones in the east in the morning, south midday, and western in the afternoon and evening can have a drastic effect on how hot your home gets. Installing solar or sunscreen shades is another way of cutting down on the heat created by sunlight and won’t require you to have a opening/closing routine.
2. Use Fans
Fans are pretty underrated. Everyone likes to crank up the AC but will often forget about the fan. Fans will not only increase the evaporation rate of water, making you feel cooler, but will also mix the air and prevent hot/cold spots from forming. That blowing air will disturb the microclimate just above your skin, blowing away the hot air and helping you feel cool, too. And if you’re feeling McGuyver-y you can set up a small fan to blow over some reusable ice packs and have yourself a home-made personal AC.
3. Time Your Cooking
When you’re trying to keep your home cool in summer it’s a good idea to not have any sources of heat in your home active during the day. So hold off on baking that cake until the evening or first thing in the morning for you early birds. Or try eating lighter foods like salads and stir-fry that don’t require the use of the oven.
4. Use Appropriate Lighting
With consideration to method #1, use natural light as much as you can, instead of artificial lighting – or install cooler light sources. Incandescent bulbs are inefficient and much of the energy they use creates heat, not light. If you’ve ever changed a bulb right after it blew out, you know they get HOT. Installing LED or fluorescent lighting will cut down on that heat and on your energy bill.
5. Open The Windows
No, not right now, obviously. But when the temperatures at night are set to drop down to 75 or lower, go ahead and open the windows to take advantage of the free cooling. Two tricks for this are to hang a damp sheet over the window to create cooler air, and putting a fan in the window. As to whether it’s best to have the fan pull in air or blow air outside – that’s a contested issue. Either way, it’s a good idea.
6. Close Your Fireplace
Close your damper or install a fireplace blocking blanket to cut down on hot air finding its way in.
7. Freeze Your Pillows (Yes, you read that correctly!)
What’s a freezer pillow you ask? A truly wondrous thing. Put your pillow inside a plastic bag and then stick it in the freezer if there’s room a few hours before bedtime, then pull it back out when you go to lay down. You’ll sleep great.
8. Maintain Your AC
One of the best ways to keep cool is to have your air conditioning system serviced regularly. Preventative maintenance will keep your AC unit running at peak levels and help keep your electric bill low. Also make sure to replace your filters regularly. A clogged or dirty air filter can greatly reduce the airflow in the system and cause problems with cooling. Have a technician make sure that your ductwork is sealed up properly, too. Any leaks in the ductwork will have a great effect on how cool your home gets.
Simple things like this can have a big impact on how cool you and your family are, and how big your energy bill is. So before turning down that thermostat, consider these methods and see if they work for you. For more money-saving tips and tricks with your HVAC system, click the button below, and if your in need of service, give us a call today!