August is always a hot and sticky time here in Reston. Cranking up the AC helps, but there are more things you can do to keep cool at home.
Change the Way You Use Appliances
All appliances throw off a lot of heat when running. Some ideas to reduce their heat output
- Do your laundry loads at night. Also, regularly clean the dryer vent for a quicker cycle.
- Run your dishwasher when you head for bed and wake up to clean dishes!
- Grill more and use the oven less. You can grill many of the things same things you make using an oven or on the stovetop.
Block the Sunlight
Windows are one of the biggest sources of unwanted heat in the home. Close your window shades, shutters, blinds or curtains during the day. Doing this can lower the mid-day temperature of your home by almost 20 degrees.
If you plan to add window treatments, keep in mind that light colors will reflect rather than absorb the sun’s heat.
There are ways to maximize the effect of your air conditioning. First, keep the fan on. Most thermostats allow you to manually turn the fan on that blows hot air through your home in the winter. In the summer, that fan can be run on its own to circulate the cooler air from the basement or main level. It also keeps the air flowing and moving, which makes you feel cooler.
Be sure to change your filter regularly. Change out your air filters every 4-6 weeks. A dirty filter reduces air quality and limits air flow.
Landscape to Beat the Heat
Planting a tree is a great way to both shade your home and add color and beauty to your property. Vines and other tall shrubs are other options that will have quicker results.
Check the Roof
Your roof is the first line of defense in protecting your home against the heat of the sun. It should reflect and release the sun’s energy rather than absorbing it. The color and the material used for your roof can impact temperatures inside your home.
It is time to replace your roof, make a selection that will keep you cool. Refer to your community to see if there are roofing options that may give you better heat protection than the standard shingles.