San Diego and Orange County summer highs typically range around the low to mid-80s with a matching humidity percentage. Therefore, these longer days sometimes feel a few degrees hotter than your thermostat reading.
When this occurs, residents citywide crank up their air conditioners, increasing their bills and running their units ragged. Unfortunately, this added usage also means the potential for blackouts and power grid electrical emergencies when there’s little energy available.
To protect your neighbors while remaining comfortable during the next heatwave, increase your AC’s energy efficiency and keep your house cool with Attic Projects’ most efficient home cooling tips below.
Possible Ways to Keep Your House Cool
Whether searching for the most efficient way to cool a house with AC or wondering how to keep cool without power, here are some natural ways to keep the humidity out of your home.
Avoid Heat Gain
The humidity in your home stems from the sun’s radiation. If your house is vulnerable to direct south and west-facing sunlight, the rays seep through your windows and thin walls. Metal, fabric, and stone surfaces near these windows trap that heat, releasing it into your home.
Popular ways to cool your house include the following:
- Planting tall trees to block these windows
- Placing a mesh or tinted film on the glass
- Using light-colored curtains or blinds to filter out light during the brightest parts of the day
Another way how to stay cool without electricity is through natural ventilation. Temperatures dip about 10 degrees during San Diego and Orange County nights, sometimes reaching the mid-70s, which is the average AC thermostat setting. Opening windows throughout the night and closing them upon waking in the morning rather than turning on your unit is ideal when considering how to naturally cool your house.
Focus on Interior Comfort
If you want to enhance energy efficiency and keep your house cool, you can do plenty to help your AC. Set your unit to an energy-saving air conditioning temperature, which the U.S Department of Energy states is a comfortable 78 degrees. To make that feel even lower, follow these tips for efficient cooling:
- Remove fabric coverings from seating furniture and swap your thicker bed coverings for breathable lighter linen
- Turn on a standing or ceiling fan to circulate the AC’s cool air and remove stagnant warm air
- Put away rugs and other cloth-like surfaces that trap heat
Upgrade Your Thermostat
While 78 degrees is ideal for your indoor climate, the DOE suggests increasing the AC thermostat to 80 degrees when you’re out (unless you have pets or plants that require a cooler temperature) and 85 degrees at night since your body temperature drops when you’re sleeping.
To keep up with these changes, utilize a programmable thermostat that you preset. Choose from a:
- 7-day setting that gives a different temperature each day
- One-week setting that stabilizes one temperature seven days of the week
- 5-2 setting that relays a different temperature during the weekends
- 5-1-1 setting that provides one temperature during the weekdays and a different setting for each weekend day
A smart thermostat is the most efficient home cooling system since you control your indoor temperature from anywhere with your phone, tablet, or computer.
Use a Fan With a Wet Towel on It
Turning on a fan creates a downcast of cool air that makes a given room up to 10 degrees cooler. Since a fan burns less electricity, raising your AC setting by 10 degrees uses 10% less energy while maintaining your desired indoor temperature.
Place a damp cloth over the grill of a standing fan for added efficient cooling power. Make sure to wring the fabric to prevent leaking and ensure flyaway strings or bunched sections of the cloth don’t get caught in the blades.
Use the Stove Less
To increase energy efficiency and keep your house cool, you not only have to limit outdoor sun rays from entering your home but also indoor heat production. That includes using the stove, oven, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and other appliances that release a lot of artificial radiation.
During midday, when the temperature is at its peak, opt for washing dishes by hand, hanging wet clothes on a line, and using smaller appliances that use less radiation, like the microwave. If you need to cook, wait until the evenings when the temperature dips to create a less sultry environment.
Clean Your Filter
If you’re considering how to save energy with your air conditioner, ensure it’s in proper working condition. The most common problem ACs undergo is dirty filters that block optimal airflow. Clogs from dirt, dust, and lint cause your unit to work harder to reach your thermostat setting, spiking your electric bills and causing wear and tear on your AC.
Replace your filters at least every three months. You can also wash some filters with soap and water and reuse them.
Do an Energy Audit
An energy audit determines your home’s energy efficiency through an inspection that seeks out leaks and cracks from which your quality air is escaping. It also uncovers whether your windows, doors, walls, or vents release cool air. An auditor explains how to remedy the situation for lower energy bills.
Embrace Indoor Plants
You may have heard plants thrive in humidity, but did you know some species create a cooling atmosphere? The most cost-effective way to cool a house includes purchasing plants that undergo the transpiration process by sucking in warm air and releasing cooling moisture. Some transpiring plants include:
- Snake plants
- Willow-leaf figs
- Aloe vera plants
- Rhapis palms
Call an Insulation Installation Professional
Our tips on the most energy-efficient ways to cool your home will save you up to 10% on your electric bills and prolong the life of your unit, barring premature repair and replacement costs. If an energy audit points to your attic as a source of air leaks, Attic Projects has you covered.
For more on how to enhance energy efficiency and keep your house cool, trust Attic Projects, your attic, and crawl space experts serving Orange County and San Diego. Call 858-282-0516 or 714-410-6402, respectively, for a free consultation today!