Seven Ways to Keep Cool and Save Energy in Your Brandywine Home

July 31st, 2017

If the past month predicts anything weather wise, the summer is going to be long and hot in Southern California. Fortunately, the advanced insulation and energy technologies in Brandywine Homes will keep you cooler while saving on energy bills better than an older home. There are still steps, however, you can take to help beat the heat without shelling out extra money monthly.

1. Bring in the Cool

Even on the hottest days, temps are cooler during the evening and early morning. Open all your windows and, if it’s safe, your doors to let in the cooler air. Openings across from each other are particularly useful because they allow for cross ventilation.

2. Block out the Sun

You can keep your interior from getting hot by preventing solar heat from entering in the first place. Keep your blinds, shades and curtains closed, especially on the side of the home where the sun is shining. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), “medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.”

3. Get Shady

You can also block the outside sun by installing awnings. They can minimize heat by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing ones, according to the DOE. Make sure they have grommets and other openings around the tops and sides, so the hot air that accumulates under the awning can vent.

Plant shade trees in front of windows to not only block out the sun but add beauty and value to your home. To pick the right tree, check out the SelecTree website from Urban Forestry Ecosystem Institute at Cal Poly.

4. Join the Fan Club

Ceiling fans are built-in energy savers because they use far less power to keep you cooler than your central air-conditioning unit. Use fans liberally but make sure they’re spinning in the correct direction by flipping a small switch on the fan housing. In the summer, the blades should spin forward or counter-clockwise. This pushes air down to produce the wind chill effect to make you cooler.

5. Use Appliances Wisely

Major appliances such as laundry machines, dishwashers and ovens can heat up the house so use them later in the day, preferably at night. Instead of relying on your clothes dryer, hang your wash outside so the sun can dry your clothes. Consider cooking all your food at night and then heating up leftovers through the day using your microwave, which generates far less heat than an oven. As a bonus, electrical rates are typically cheaper at night.

Turn off and unplug appliances not in use. Even a low-voltage device generates heat. Take advantage of the longer days by using natural sunlight to illuminate your interior instead of turning on the lights.

6. Fix the Temperatures

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees, which will keep your rooms cool without taxing the air-conditioning system. Turn down the water heater temperature to the warm setting, which is 120 degrees. This not only saves energy but also prevents you from scalding your skin.

7. Run Away from Home

During particularly hot times and days, pack up the family and spend time at the movies, malls, museums or other air-conditioned locations. If you work at home, you can take your papers and laptop to the nearest library, college, university or coffee shop to take advantage of their air-conditioning.

Are you looking for a new home in Orange County, Long Beach or the Los Angeles metro area? Brandywine Homes is opening six new communities this year offering a combined 265 single-family homes and townhomes. If you would like more information, sign up for our interest list here.

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