It’s time to rethink your home — the building you live in is more than four walls and roof; a place to eat and sleep; shelter from storms.
Your backyard can be a paradise, your rooms can have great views; and you can stay cool without running up a high power bill.
When you’re through making these improvements, you may just want to have a staycation!
1. Install Door Screens
Outdoor air is cleaner than air circulating inside your home, but while it’s nice to open a door and let in a breeze, bugs make that unbearable.
So how do you get a fresh, pest-free breeze? The answer may be a retractable screen that rolls and ‘disappears’ into the door jamb instead of swinging open.
Retractable door screens from Phantom Screens, available with fiberglass or polyester mesh, cover doors, windows and even outdoor living spaces. The custom-made system fits just about any door, whether it’s French, entry or sliding, and factory-trained experts take care of the installation.
Cross ventilation — opening your back door, activating the screen and opening a window in the same room — is a great way to get fresh air in the home, remove pollution and save energy on air conditioning.
Best of all? Every room in your home can be a room with a view because when you’re not using the screens they’re retracted into their casings and completely out of sight!
2. Update Your Patio
Your home doesn’t end at your back door; it continues to the backyard, so it’s important to put as much time and energy into it as you do the inside of your home.
Transforming a patio from a plain concrete slab to a relaxing retreat doesn’t take much money or effort — just imagination and planning.
First, clean and resurface the slab so it looks new. Next, plant flowers for color and visual interest. Then, install a sail cloth between two posts and the chimney for stylish shade. Finally, add seating, an outdoor rug and hanging plants so guests are comfortable, and the space is beautiful.
It’s that easy!
If you want to take things to the next level, add a gas or charcoal grill It will encourage outdoor cooking, which is better than firing up the range, heating up your home and causing your air conditioner to work harder.
3. Stay Smart, Keep Cool
Cooling costs tend to go up during the summer because your A/C has to work harder than usual. But with this action plan, you can cut that energy bill:
• Get a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature when you’re away. Just set the program to your schedule, and the thermostat does the rest. Better yet, get a smart thermostat that you can control with a mobile device. They range from $80 to $400, depending on features, but can save you $180 a year in energy costs.
• Add awnings. These door and window coverings aren’t just decorative; they also keep away rain and sun. And adding awnings to sunny windows can reduce a room’s temperature by up to 15 degrees and save 25% on the air conditioning for that room.
• Turn on the fan. Paddle ceiling fans don’t cool the air, but they do make it feel cooler by increasing evaporation on your skin. Raise your thermostat’s temperature two or three degrees, and then run a paddle ceiling fan. Make sure it’s running in a counterclockwise direction during hot weather, and only run the fan when you’re in the room.