In the summer months, increased humidity and elevated temperatures can create quite the uncomfortable environment in your home and/or business. In fact, for higher risk members of the population (children and senior citizens for example), extreme heat can lead to unsafe living conditions.
A proactive and immediate step may be to open windows and/or screen doors to allow for cross-ventilation. This can be a very effective measure for bringing down the temperature and giving your environment a breath of fresh air. With that being said, if the temperature is high enough, you may actually be allowing more hot air to enter your indoor space, which would be a counter-productive move in the long run. Some other steps you can take to minimize indoor heat include:
- Sealing air gaps and ensuring exterior walls are insulated to meet or exceed the minimum recommended levels to minimize heat transfer to the interior.
- Using awnings, blinds or drapes to keep direct sunlight from entering the space.
- Integrating light-coloured exterior finishes to reduce solar heat gain.
- Plan heat-generating tasks (cooking, dish washing, drying clothes and bathing) for cooler morning and evening hours.
And Then There was Air Conditioning
Thanks to the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America, the air conditioner was first introduced to the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1902. By the 1950s business and residential air conditioning was becoming part of mainstream culture and today air conditioning systems have been integrated into most of homes and businesses throughout the U.S.
Essentially, an air conditioner removes heat from inside your home or establishment to the outside, thereby cooling you and your surrounding environment. But that level of comfort often comes at a cost. In general, July tends to be the hottest month of the year and therefore, also one of the most expensive.
The cost of indoor air conditioning can also be directly linked to one significant factor: location. Where we live and how much we spend on indoor air conditioning are often quite closely linked. For instance, while electricity might be more affordable in Louisiana, its searing summer weather could still result in higher costs than the moderate climates in more costly areas like Northern California, where HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) units remain turned off most of the year.
Becoming fully informed about all aspects of air conditioning your home or business is the best way to ensure you are making choices that allow you to stay cool, calm and collected.