Stay Cool, San Diego Tips to Keeping Your San Diego Home Cools This Summer

Ah, San Diego summer. Is there anything sweeter? Or hotter? San Diego is known for having one of the most desirable climates but recent summer heat waves have left many San Diegans sweating it out, literally, with a great majority of homes built without central air. Even still, for homeowners who do have AC, cooling your home all summer long can come at quite the cost. On average, running a whole-house air conditioner will cost you an extra $2 per hour, depending on both the square footage of your home and model of your cooling unit. With soaring temperatures and scorching sunshine coming soon to a San Diego city near you, you may be wondering how to keep your home cool this summer, without spending a fortune. We rounded up the best tools, tips and upgrades to make on your house to keep cooling costs low and the entire family comfortable.

Instant Cooling Efforts

Keep Your Blinds Closed

As simple as we know this tip seems, up to 30% percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows. To keep your San Diego home feeling far from a greenhouse this summer, consider opting to keep curtains closed during peak sun hours. This can save you up to 7 percent on your utility bill and lower indoor temperatures by nearly 20 degrees. Want a step farther in the cooler direction? Invest in blackout curtains – they’ll block the sunlight, naturally insulate the rooms in which they’re installed, and can reduce temperatures in the home by up to 33%.


Replace Incandescent Lights

The simple act of replacing your incandescent lights with LEDS or more energy efficient bulbs can have quite an impact on the cooling cost and overall temperature of your home. Did you know that the soft, yellow glow that casts off incandescent – and the electricity used to do so – is converted to heat rather than light? Translation: these bulbs cast off a considerable amount of heat and can equal extra cooling expenses. Consider swapping them out for LED’s ASAP. It should be noted that any light bulbs will produce some heat, so switching off unnecessary lighting during especially uncomfortable days is certainly a great cooling technique.


Counter-Clockwise Ceiling Fans

Step one: invest in ceiling fans. Step two: set yours seasonally. Sound’s bizarre, but setting your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise this summer and at a higher speed will create an incredibly cool, breeze-like effect that is guaranteed to get your house cooler, faster.


Swap Sheets

Switching up your bedding season to season does more than just lighten and brighten a room – it is a great way to keep you and your family cool. In most parts of San Diego, even our coldest of winters rarely call for heavy textiles like flannel sheets or fleece blankets, but your bedding might not be optimized for maximum cooling effect, either. Consider swapping for cotton: an easy, breathable fabric. A small investment for a comfortable night’s sleep.


Retire the Oven and Reach for the Grill

Cranking heat-producing appliances all summer long won’t exactly do wonders for keeping cooling costs – or temperatures – down. It’s obvious, we know, but it should be said. Opt for grilling as opposed to using your oven or stove! If your house is already feeling like it’s baking, no sense in turning any appliance on that can reach up to 450 degrees. Getting more mileage out of your outdoor kitchen space or patio will feel great, too.


Tune Up Your AC

If your San Diego home does in fact have air conditioning, it’s worth noting that a poorly maintained unit uses almost 30 percent more energy than necessary. Wondering if your unit is in need of some TLC? As a rule of thumb, central AC compressors last around 10 to 12 years, but having a tech come out for proper maintenance can not only extend the lifespan to 20 years, but ensure you aren’t wasting precious cool air or cash all summer long. Hiring a  professional to come tune, clean and check your unit can ensure you are getting the most out of your cooling efforts.


Long-Term Cooling Efforts

Seal Your Cooling and Heating Ducts

Depending on when your house was built, your ductwork may need some work. An astonishing 10 to 40 percent of your cooling efforts is lost through gaps in the duct joins, wasting cool air (and your money). Consider hiring a professional to come examine for cracks, split or bad connections in your ductwork to determine if any air is escaping when you do have the AC on.

Install Ceiling Fans

Whether or not you have AC, ceiling fans are here to stretch your summer cooling efforts. If you do use AC in your home, a ceiling fan will circulate the cooling air, allowing you to keep the thermostat at a higher temperature and ultimately save on the cost of use. Better yet, consider selecting a energy efficient ceiling fan with LED lights, reducing your cooling cost.


Plant Permanent Shade

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Though we’d venture to guess, most homeowners don’t design their dream landscaping with cooling cost in mind. Thankfully, should you decide to invest in larger, shade-producing trees or greeney, you could increase your AC’s efficiency by up to 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s because planting leafy trees around your home’s exterior will provide plenty of shade while blocking the sun’s rays from beaming directly into your home. Since most heat accumulates inside a home as a result of direct sunlight beaming on home’s windows or roof, a well-placed tree can make quite a difference. While planting a young tree won’t have immediate payoffs, consider opting for vines or more mature, taller shrubbery for an instant impact.

Shade Your Windows

Meet solar screens, mesh-like window covers that intercepts up to 90% of the summer heat, glare and UV rays before they can reach your home’s windows. These covers appear darker than a regular window screen from outside, but you won’t have to worry about your view being obstructed. Better yet? Solar screens can save you up to 50% on your cooling bill, simply by blocking the heat of the sun. These outside-mounted options usually run homeowners about $105 per window but can make a huge impact in your cooling cost.

Stay Cool, San Diego

Summer brings such beauty to San Diego, but with it, scoring temperatures that can make it  can be costly to stay cool in your home. Keep your family comfortable with some of our tips and tricks, or set out to create an oasis of chill with some of our suggested home improvement projects. Either way, we’re looking forward to another great summer here in San Diego. Stay cool!