We wish we could say that these would be great tips to implement before the heat begins, but with the mercury climbing to 95 degrees today and 97 tomorrow, Atlanta residents are already looking for some relief! Aside from a general dislike of sticking to your couch, even as the air conditioning runs non-stop, you may also be worrying about the looming energy costs of this heat wave and the toll it will take on your wallet. There are a few steps you can follow and tips you can take that may help ease the pain....just a little!
- Check the insulation. According to EnergyStar insulation is usually measured using the R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value the more effective it will be to beat the heat. The level of insulation recommended for your area can be found at www.EnergyStar.gov. If you are lacking the recommended insulation, you can add more right on top of the old insulation. However, don't put a vapor barrier between the layers. Be sure the insulation doesn't block vents or cover exhaust fans.
- Ventilate the attic. When the outside temperature is in the 90's, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees. Adequately sized vents and/or an attic fan can help keep hot air from building up.
- Get the air conditioner ready:
- 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.
- Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight.
- Consider installing ceiling fans. On moderately warm days, fans can circulate enough air to keep you comfortable without air conditioning. Even on hotter days when you use the air conditioner, you can set your thermostat higher and save.
- Open windows and doors and let outside air cool your house on moderate days, and be sure to keep them closed when you're operating the air conditioner.
- Avoid unnecessary trips in and out of the house, especially on the most sultry days. Heat and humidity come in each time you open the door.
- Keep the sun out of your house. Close blinds, shades or draperies during the hottest part of the day. Consider planting fast-growing trees and shrubs near your home but away from power line, to provide shade.
- Set lamps, TV sets, and other heat-producing devices away from the air conditioner thermostat. Heat from the lamp could cause the thermostat to read higher temperature and keep the air conditioner running more than necessary.
Need help checking your windows & doors? Installing a ceiling fan or an awning?
One final note, if you have any older friends or relatives in the Atlanta area and would like to speak with us about checking on the efficiency and readiness of their home, please contact us right away! Small children and the elderly are most effected by the severe heat and humidity, spending a little time and money up front to ensure their safety is typically a much smarter investment than fixing something once it has become a problem, or broken all together. We would be happy, and honored to help our fellow Georgians!