The weather will soon begin to warm up in southwest Idaho and so we start thinking of how to stay cool. Comfortguyjerry says that air conditioning is NOT the only answer. There are several other factors to consider and things we can do to stay cool AND stay energy efficient.
Feeling comfortable in hot weather requires two things to happen together. Obviously the first consideration is the temperature. The one we often don't think about is relative humidity or RH for short. The RH and the temperature have to both be low enough to keep you from sweating. Here in the Treasure Valley we live in what is called high desert and the humidity is fairly low all the time. The lower the RH the hotter it can be and we still feel pretty comfortable. Living here it can he 80 outside and we can handle it but if you live in Florida or North Carolina in it's 80 with humidity at 70% we are sweltering! So ideally we want to keep our humidity in our home at about 40-50% to be comfortable. In some areas people have to install dehumidifier's to deal with excessive humidity. We rarely if ever do that in Idaho. Traditional air conditioning units are good at removing excess humidity from the air. However there are other things we can do to help stay cool with out lowering out thermostats more and more.
FIRST: Dress for the weather. If its hot inside your home wear light weight clothing when at home and you may be able to adjust the thermostat up a few degrees and still be comfortable.
SECOND: Turn on a fan. Air circulating on your skin will make you feel cooler. So think about ceiling fans or circulating fans that can move the air toward you. If you are not having it blow on your skin then it is not going to do much good, so shut if off when your not in the room. Make sure your ceiling fan blades are turning clockwise in the summer and counter-clockwise in the winter for them to be the most efficient.
THIRD: Open the windows and doors when it 's cool at night or in the morning. Then before it gets too hot, close them all up, usually around mid-day or early afternoon. Use the air conditioner until it cools down enough that you could open doors and windows again. You will stay comfortable and also save energy. The trick to this is don't let it get too hot in the house before you turn on the air conditioner. It will take more time and energy to cool down the house to the desired temperature.
FOURTH: Sun shining on widows produces a lot of passive solar heat, heat, heat. Close the blinds and drapes on the south, west, and east of your house. You might even consider installing outside awnings or sun shades if you receive a lot of intense heat. Sun rooms are just that. Sun Rooms. They can turn into a real sauna and literally warm up the rest of the rooms adjacent to them and then your A/C will work overtime to trying to keep up with the demand at the thermostat. For more information follow us twitter @comfortguyjerry or like us on Facebook page at Greens Heating and Air Conditioning. Consult are website at greensheating.com Stay cool my friends.