How to Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer

Posted on July 17, 2019.

Summer in Minnesota can get hot, humid, and unbearable. When heat indexes are on the rise, know there is so much more you can do to keep your house cool than cranking up that air conditioning, which means cranking up that bill.

Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned before and after of air duct after air duct cleaning, air duct cleaning minneapolis

Over time, dust and pollutants can build up in your air ducts and, aside from causing potential respiratory problems, it can keep your central air conditioning from working properly. Getting your air ducts cleaned out by a professional can save you money and prevent ailments like asthma from occurring or getting worse. Don’t let your ducts turn into a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus, mold spores, and other microbes, call us to get them cleaned properly and boost that air conditioning.

Draw the Shades

Windows produce a ton of extra heat in your home, especially on a sunny day. Drawing the shades and closing your blinds before you leave for work in the morning can keep extra heat out, and keep your air conditioning from working extra hard to combat that temperature. West-facing windows are going to get hit with the sunniest part of the day, so definitely keep those windows covered while you don’t need them.

Invest in Blackout Curtains

In addition to closing your blinds, investing in blackout curtains can work wonders when it comes to keeping heat out, or IN in the winter months. Blackout curtains are thick to block out the sunlight, but also the inside is reflective to the outside to keep from soaking up any more of the sun’s heat. In older homes, they can help with any leaky windows from letting hot or cool air in, which saves you money! They are also great for those LONG days in the summer, where the sun wakes us up before our alarm or is still up when we wind down for bed. They’re a great investment!

Sleep With Cooling Sheets

This doesn’t keep your house cool, but it can keep you cool which is why we want to turn down that air conditioning, to begin with, right? You should have different sheets for each season, especially in Minnesota where we get to experience every single type of weather. Swap out your winter flannel or fleece sheets for a more breathable fabric like bamboo, cotton, or linen. The lighter fabrics like cotton are going to be naturally cooling, which improves sleep because our bodies actually prefer cold to sleep. Cooling mattress pads and pillows are also a great way to stay cool at night. Make sure you have an osculating fan in your room at night which can help circulate the cool air around the room, and keep it cooler in the humidity.

Don’t Cook in the Oven

Gather your friends and family for grill-outs! Or, just enjoy having an intimate weeknight dinner of burgers and brats for yourself. Either way, using the oven to cook dinner can really heat up your house, and most things you are cooking in the oven can be made on the grill! Make the switch and enjoy the outdoors, then bring it inside to eat your delicious meal in the nice, cool, air conditioning in your home.

Take Advantage of Cooler Evenings

Summer evenings can see temperatures drop to the 70s and even upper 60s. This can be perfect weather and a time to take advantage of opening those windows for some fresh air and give the AC a break. A nice rainstorm can be calming for sleep, but also refresh the home with some cooler winds, as long as it’s not humid.

Run the Ceiling Fan Counter-clockwise

If you have a ceiling fan, it’s good to know there is a switch on the side or top of its motor that can change the direction to clockwise or counterclockwise. A counter-clockwise turn will push cool air down and is what you want running during the hot summer months. The cool breeze effect will make it seem cooler than it actually is. On the other hand, a clockwise turn, on low, will draw cool air upwards and is best for winter weather.

Keep Unused Rooms Closed

To truly utilize the cooling air conditioning, and cool the house down overall, close the doors to rooms that aren’t being used or aren’t regular living areas like laundry rooms, spare bedrooms, bathrooms. If you have central air vents, close those vents, which will help force that air to the other parts of the house you need cooled down. Close your bedroom doors before bedtime so you can walk into a nice, cool environment for sleeping. Sounds nice, right?

 

Follow these tips and you should be living in a blissfully cool house this summer. Remember though, a blocked or dirty air duct can negate all that work your air conditioner is doing, so please call us anytime or request a free quote for air duct cleaning and maintenance. Stay cool!


Minnesota Summers: How to Keep Your Home Mold Free

Posted on July 10, 2019.

Here in Minnesota, we wait months and months for Summer to come. We love it. It is the complete opposite of our dreaded winters and means we can finally take trips to the lake every weekend and can swim in the water, not stand on it. 🙂 But, warmer temperatures, rainstorms, and increased humidity also make the perfect environment for mold growth.

Things to know about summer mold:

  1. It can be found anywhere that is warm and wet. So, bathrooms, under cabinets, basements, baseboards.
  2. It smells musty. The first sign of mold is gonna be a wet, musty smell and can help you determine if hard-to-find places have mold growth.
  3. 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature for mold to begin to grow and thrive.
  4. Relative humidity above 50% creates a prime mold growing environment

So what can you do to prevent mold growth during these months?

Use a Dehumidifier

Placing a dehumidifier in your basement can help keep a normally moist environment drier. If you get water in your basement when it rains, it’s very important to remove that water immediately, or just keep a constantly running de-humidifier to keep the water from sticking around. The longer the moisture stays, the higher the chance mold has to grow and spread. This will help keep your humidity down in your home, despite it being quite high outside.

Check for Window Leaks

A leaky window during the rainy season is a sure-fire way to get water into your window wells and seeping into your walls or onto the floor. After a rainstorm, if you suspect a leaky window seal, check for water or moisture on the inside window well or window frame, and make sure it gets dried immediately. Mold can damage the wood and lead to extremely costly replacements. Windows aren’t cheap!

Improve Ventilation

If you don’t have a powerful fan in your bathroom to remove moisture and humidity, then placing a smaller dehumidifier in your bathroom is going to help a lot. Water can grow under the cabinet, between tiny cracks in the bathtub or shower, and needs to be removed so it doesn’t sit for long periods of time.

Deep Clean Your House

The first step to making sure you can take the proper steps to keep mold out of your home this summer is to do a deep clean of your house. Go through every room and clean the floors, dust the corners, and keep your eyes out for any dark spots, musty smells, or places you think are susceptible to warmth and moisture. A good deep clean at the beginning of summer will set a baseline for your home and you can maintain it throughout the summer and be mindful of any opportune places for mold, and stop it dead in its tracks.

Keep Your House Cool

As we stated, the optimal temperature for mold to thrive is 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high temperature in a Minnesota summer is in the mid-80s in the south, and upper-70s in the north. So 77 degrees is smack dab in the middle of that, and it’s basically a guarantee that your home is going to be in that sweet spot at some point. It’s important to keep your house cooler than 77 degrees as much as possible, especially in areas susceptible to mold growth. Run that AC, utilize table and osculating fans, and stay cool!

If left alone, mold can quickly grow and have serious impacts on your health and the structure of your home. Mold can grow as quickly as 24-48 hours, so it’s very important to follow these tips, especially before you head out to the cabin for the weekend or that family vacation you’ve been planning. The last thing you want to do is come home to mold. If you do find yourself in this situation contact us to help with mold remediation to immediately solve the problem and help prevent long-term damage.


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