With the Memorial Day weekend now behind us (hope you had a great time), it won't have escaped your attention that it's really beginning to warm up outside, with Albuquerque area temperatures expected to climb into the 90's over the weekend and into next week.
Obviously it's important from the point of view of your own comfort that your home will stay cool in the coming weeks, but if you're selling your home right now, it's even more essential, as you welcome prospective buyers.
There's so much that can be done to cool your home, and some ideas cost nothing or next to it, so here are some great tips:
Air Tightness - Just as keeping the cold out is important in the winter months, keeping windows and doors tightly closed during the daytime stops solar generated heat from getting inside and potentially sending your cooling bills through the roof. That said, using windows for natural ventilation if it's cool during the evening can be a further money saver.
Air Conditioning - If you haven't yet serviced your air con, it's a good idea to do so immediately. Poorly serviced systems rarely run efficiently, use more expensive energy and, maybe even worse, can stop working right when they are most needed. Make sure the outdoor cooling unit has good airflow around it, especially if you have plants, trees and shrubs nearby, that may need pruning to. Check to ensure the correct air spaces on all sides of the unit and above it. And if your rooms never seem to stay as cool as you'd like, even after servicing, it's worth asking a professional if you have a correctly sized air con unit for the size of home - especially important if you've ever extended the property.
Air Filters - These should be changed regularly in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. Quality filters that are in good shape aid the energy efficiency of your cooling system. Failure to change these at the correct interval can result in an expensive air compressor breakdown and costlier energy use.
Energy Saving Window Films - These are a relatively inexpensive and easy to install reflective film that you can apply to your windows, with claims of a 70% reduction of solar heat and 95% of UV rays. The idea is to simply reflect the sun's heat away from the building.
Curtains/Blinds - Closed curtains and blinds can make a big difference to the solar heat gain that occurs in rooms during the day. Consider replacing blinds that are showing their age. In general, the thicker the blind, the better it is at preventing heat from entering the home. Similarly, thick curtains are always better than thin ones.
Ceiling Fans - The more rooms that have ceiling fans in your home, the better. They are usually quite easy to self-install and do a fantastic job of promoting air circulating, although their cooling efficiency is closely related to how warm the air is in the home. One important thing to check, however, and that is to ensure that your fans have been switched to draw cooler air up, instead of the opposite setting for winter.
Mobile Fans - The big advantage of these types of fan is that they can be deployed exactly where you need them most. Some fans can also be permanently wall mounted and make a splendid alternative in situations where ceiling fans cannot safely be used, such as kids rooms with bunk beds.
Window Fans - Another good way of providing extra ventilation in rooms that need extra cooling. Used in a network they help to create a cooling through draft of air.
Insulate The Attic - This assists on preventing hot air transmitting through the roof and down into your rooms. In winter, well insulated roofs help to keep warm air in the home. An attic fan is a great way of dealing with heat buildup in the roof void.
Trees - While generally not a quick fix, trees with all their summer foliage can be an extremely efficient way of deflecting direct sunlight from the home and providing wonderful natural shade.
Awnings - These can make your home look more attractive at the same time as deflecting heat away from windows and glazed doors.
Eat Out/BBQ More - As odd as it might at first sound, eating out, or cooking on the barbecue in the yard has the distinct advantage of not allowing your oven to become an unwelcome summertime convection heater. And if neither of those options appeals, eating plenty of salads has the same effect. The same rule also applies to other home appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Only use them at night when it's cooler.
Encourage Air Circulation - Keep all internal doors open as much as possible. It greatly assists that all important airflow.
Shower Often! - Regular showers with as cold a water temperature as you can comfortably accept are a great way of making the heat more bearable. And if you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool, use it often for the same reason. Always use bathroom exhaust fans during your shower and for an extended period after, maybe 20/30 minutes, so that any hot and humid air is extracted out of the building, rather than adding to the internal heat mass.
Turn Computers Off When You Can - There's a tendency to leave computers on so they are booted up for immediate use. However most designs happen to act as wonderful heaters, so switch off PC's when they're not in use, at least for the hottest months.
We hope these tips give you plenty of inspiration for ways to keep your home cool all summer long. Please don't hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions concerning real estate in our beautiful corner of New Mexico.