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Summer 2013

How to Keep Cool without Air Conditioning: Summer Cooling Tips

No one can argue the fact that air conditioners are a great asset when trying to cool down in the hot summer months. There is no reason, however, to be completely reliant upon them. Here are some AC–free summer cooling tips.

1. Keep Shades and Drapes Closed During the Day

Have you heard of the greenhouse effect? When it is sunny and hot outside and you leave your shades open, that’s basically what is happening inside of your house. Wait until the sun goes down to enjoy the view from your windows.

2. Let Cool Air In

Just because it’s hot during the days does not meant that you should seal off your home. Temperatures drop at night, so open up your windows and let the air in. Just be sure to wake up early enough to shut them before it gets warm out again. This way you can trap the cool air in while keeping the hot air out.

3. Check Your Fans

Many people don’t realize that their ceiling fans have a directional switch. If they are spinning clockwise they are on the winter setting, pushing warm air downwards. Locate the switch and get them spinning counter clockwise to your cool air circulating.

4. Skip the Baking

After an active day outdoors you’re going to come home hungry. Just don’t touch the stove or oven dials. Cooking with that appliance will heat up your home more than you think. Whip up a cold salad or sandwich instead, or get dinner started in a crockpot earlier in the day.

5. Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and get an early start on chores before the hottest part of the day. Then in the early afternoon you’ll have the rest of the day to kick back and relax.

6. Have Some Fun

Remember when you were a kid and would have water gun and balloon fights? Ever wonder why you stopped? Surprise your family, friends or neighbors with a fun way to take a break from the heat.

7. Dress Accordingly

Just because your clothing isn’t full coverage doesn’t mean that it’s good for the heat. Skip the jeans shorts and black t–shits. Light, breathable fabrics can go a long way.

8. Take a Cool Shower

Skip your morning shower and wait until the hottest part of the day. You’ll be surprised how invigorating a cool shower can be.

9. When All Else Fails…Take a Dip!

Do your research and find a local beach, pond, swimming hole or community pool. Sometimes there is just no better alternative than a quick swim to cool off a hot summer day.

We hope that you find these summer cooling tips helpful. Remember, you don’t need an AC to keep cool in the summer. A little creativity can make all the difference when cooling down.

 

What to Look for in an HVAC Contractor

A broken air conditioner in the summer can be a major inconvenience. Before hiring a contractor for repairs, though, you should know that you’ll be getting reliable, professional service. Here’s some advice for finding the right contractor to fix your air conditioner this summer.

1. Do Your Research: Be sure that your contractor has the proper licensing and insurance requirements for your area. Have the basic information about your system available before contacting a contractor. This information can help expedite the repair process.

2. Referrals/References: Don’t underestimate the value of others’ experiences. Ask associates for referrals, and always check customer references. There are plenty of resources online as well that offer reviews of services. Don’t pick your contractors at random.

3. Don’t Feel Rushed: When you’re having repairs done, don’t think that it should be an in–and–out process. Your contractor should inspect the system thoroughly and discuss the necessary steps with you. If you get the feeling that your contractor is more interested in a quick fix than quality service, shop around.

4. Don’t Agree to Anything Over the Phone: It doesn’t matter what the problem sounds like. A contractor cannot diagnose a problem or give an accurate estimate without first visiting your home. If your contractor starts to tell you what the issue is and how much it will cost to fix it before inspecting your system, it’s time to continue the search.

5. Get It in Writing: Even with a reliable contractor it is important to get an agreement down on paper. Be sure that information about start/finish dates, the name of the contractor performing the work, and payment plans are included. If problems arise with your service, this written agreement can save you a lot of headaches.

It’s easy to find a contractor in your area, and making sure that you are hiring a fully qualified, well–reviewed one does not take much time. You may want to get your AC fixed as quickly as possible, but don’t sacrifice quality for speed. Follow these simple guidelines and make sure that you’re getting the professional help you deserve.

 

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