How to Keep the House Cool in a Desert Climate
Parts of the United States can reach blistering temperatures. Western states, like California, Arizona and Nevada, can see temperatures touch or soar above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, especially in summer months. In desert climates, homeowners should try to keep the house cool with a combination of cooldown tactics.
1. Turn on the AC
The air conditioner is intended to cool down a muggy home. Turn on the central air conditioner to bring relief inside. If central air is unavailable, consider purchasing a window air conditioner, also referred to as a room air conditioner. These single units are normally mounted on walls or windows.
When looking for a room air conditioner, pay attention to the unit’s size. An oversized unit will reduce efficiency, perform poorly and unnecessarily increase energy costs. Units that are too large may cool down the room quickly, but they will fail to properly reduce humidity.
Regular maintenance of the room air conditioner is necessary for optimal functioning. Check the unit’s filters each month and clean them with soap and water. Be sure to inspect the water pan inside the unit. Clean the pan to ensure proper drainage and prevent mold growth.
2. Install Window Coverings
Simply closing the blinds will only do so much to keep the heat out during scorching outdoor temps. More efficient methods will save homeowners 25 percent on cooling costs. The right window coverings not only save on energy bills but lend unique style to the rooms.
Homeowners who install roll-down shades along the exterior windows can operate them from inside using remote controls. While expensive, the roll-down shades prevent any light, and, therefore, the heat it creates, from entering the home. Consider how the aesthetics of the shades will add appeal.
Apply solar film to the outside of windows to eliminate up to 90 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The film reduces the amount of heat entering through the window, reflects heat, and decreases the heat the windows absorb. Tackle this as a DIY project or call a professional.
Blackout curtains, also known as thermal drapes, also keep the home cool. These drapes block light and heat in a cost-efficient manner. Blackout coverage is available as roll-down blackout shades, blackout liners and readymade blackout curtains. Homeowners can also sew their own.
Without proper insulation, the air conditioner and window coverings will do little to keep the house cool. All the doors should be properly weather stripped to keep out heat and prevent cool inside air from escaping. Inadequate home insulation forces the fans and AC to work twice as hard.
4. Run Ceiling Fans
During heat waves or summer’s high temps, turn on the ceiling fans. A cooling effect may be achieved by running them forward, in a counter-clockwise direction. The forward-moving fan blades push the cool room air downward. The home’s occupants feel cooler without adjusting the room temperature.
Homeowners who utilize ceiling fans save a bundle on cooling costs. Ceiling fans are extremely energy efficient and consume far less power than HVAC units. Homeowners who rely on the cooling effects of ceiling fans may also set the thermostat at a higher temperature without losing comfort.
5. Run Appliances at Night
While the sun is at its highest and hottest point in the sky, limit running appliances. Ovens and dryers are designed to create heat. Hang clothes outside to take advantage of the sun’s rays. Choose to cook when the outdoor temps are cooler, since stovetops and microwaves also emit heat.
6. Paint the Home’s Exterior
Homes in desert climates are often painted in a light color for a reason. The light-colored paint effectively reflects light and heat, ensuring the home retains less heat. Dark-colored homes absorb 70 to 90 percent of the sun’s radiant energy, transferring the heat inside.
7. Install Awnings
Install awnings and shades to reduce solar heat gain, which is the level temperatures rise as a result of sunlight. Heat gain is decreased up to 65 percent in homes with southern exposure and 77 percent in those with western exposure. Homeowners reduce energy costs and may not need AC.
8. Plant Trees and Vines
Shade trees may literally replace the air conditioner for some homeowners. The placement of the tree is key to successfully cooling the home. Ideally, plant the tree within 40 feet of the south side or 60 feet from the west side of the home to experience dramatic cooling effects.
Vines work by shading the home’s walls from the sun’s beating rays. Be careful to choose the right vines to prevent wood rot or structural ruin. Climbers are adept at reducing a home’s daily temperature fluctuation by as much as 50 percent. Plant Russian vine, for instance, for immediate results.
Beware of Wildfires
Extreme heat can be disastrous, especially in Western states. Wildfires can erupt and lead to substantial fire damage. Upon the fires being extinguished by fire officials, water and mold damage may be left behind. If your home undergoes a disaster of any kind, call ServiceMaster EMT for a prompt restoration.
ServiceMaster EMT provides quality residential restoration services. Our trained technicians respond immediately to a range of emergencies, including fire damage, water damage and mold damage. We have a reputation for providing reliable and affordable restoration services. Our team of specialists also work with your insurance to accelerate claims.
Water removal technicians from ServiceMaster EMT extract all excess water from the home. Our fire damage restoration technicians are experienced in removing soot and smoke from a charred property. During our mold remediation service, we remove mold spores without allowing cross-contamination of other rooms.
Whether your home undergoes fire, water or mold damage, you need reputable, experienced professionals on your side to counter the destruction. Countless homeowners with properties in the states of Arizona, Nevada and California, turn to ServiceMaster EMT for swift, professional and quality disaster restoration services.