If you live in Alaska, chances are you’ve got a furnace that keeps your home as warm as a Chinook wind all winter. But what about summer? Up here, the season is short and sweet, which means you’ll want to get outside and make the most of it while you can. However, it can get surprisingly hot and humid. Wouldn’t it be amazing to come home to a house that’s as refreshing as a glacial breeze?
Alaskan summers are unique, compared to other parts of the United States, because heat steadily accumulates all season. June is usually fine, but July can see some temperature spikes, and things tend to get really warm in August. It’s important to make your home a sanctuary, no matter the season. Now’s the time to invest in your space to make it as comfortable as possible.
The most obvious way to control the temperature in your home is to get an air conditioner, however, there are a few other techniques we recommend to stay as cool as a cucumber.
We’re going to run you through five smart ways you can cool your home this summer.
Want to skip ahead and just order a new A/C unit for your home? Talk to our expert technicians about your needs when you schedule an appointment.
While you’re here, consider maintaining your furnace this summer. Try our Comfort Club Membership for 10% off all repairs and more great benefits!
1. Get the Right Air Conditioner
Getting a new air conditioner makes sense. The last few summers have been uncharacteristically warm for Alaska, and rushes on A/C units meant most stores sold out. This summer, you can still get ahead of the curve and order your new air conditioner before the first heatwave of the season.
HeatSource Mechanical is proud to be a Lennox Premier Dealer. The Dave Lennox Signature Collection includes some excellent options to cool homes of all sizes, for example:
- XC25: This is the most precise and efficient air conditioner money can buy. It has a 4.5-star customer rating, a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of up to 26, and is Energy Star qualified. This option has a variable capacity. It’s guaranteed to deliver exceptional results.
- XC21: This is an extremely efficient two-stage central air conditioner. It also has a customer rating of 4.5 stars, with a SEER of up to 21, and it’s Energy Star qualified as well.
- SL18XC1: This is the quietest and most efficient single-stage air conditioner Lennox manufacturers, and is the most budget-friendly option in the Signature Collection. Just like the others, it has a rating of 4.5 stars, and the SEER is up to 18.5. It’s Energy Star Qualified as well and a great addition for any family looking to increase the comfort of their home.
Lennox also produces an Elite Series and a Merit Series of air conditioners, which means you can have reliable and efficient cooling no matter your budget. You can check out the full range here, and schedule an appointment to talk to our technicians and find out which one is right for your home.
2. Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are really neat, because they automatically regulate the temperature in your home. They have sensors, which only activate your HVAC system as much as necessary to maintain your desired temperature. They pair well with heating systems, because they can detect when temperatures drop and fire up the system accordingly. The same principle applies to cooling systems. What’s more, they allow you to adjust the temperature in each room separately to avoid cooling rooms that aren’t in use, which will help keep your utilities bill in check.
Some models of smart thermostats have diagnostic features that can detect problems with your furnace, ducting or HVAC system and remind you when your system is due for maintenance. They can also provide interesting data regarding your energy use to help you maximize efficiency.
We recommend the iComfort S30, which is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. It has a range of great features and can be operated via a smartphone application.
Read more: How to make your home more efficient
3. Protect Your Windows
Double-glazed windows are incredible in the winter, allowing warmth from the sunshine into your house while protecting you from icy chills. It’s amazing technology that makes a huge difference when heating your house for months on end. The only trouble is they have the same effect in summer, allowing sunlight inside while trapping warm air inside your home.
Awnings, like they have down south, aren’t super practical in Alaska. However, decent curtains or blinds can make a big difference to the temperature inside your home. You obviously don’t have to draw them all the time, but if you know a heatwave is coming, it’s worth embracing the shade.
4. Allow Your Home to Vent
Alaska has some pretty unique challenges, as far as climate goes. Months of glorious sunshine every summer provide a wealth of opportunities for outdoor adventures, picnic dinners and backyard grills with friends and family. However, summer evenings usually come with a side of skeeters.
Opening up all your doors and windows, and allowing fresh air to flow through your home, will allow the building to cool almost immediately. We’re almost sighing in relief just thinking about it. The only trouble is how do you stay protected and ensure the mosquitoes stay outside?
The answer is to install some screens! You can pick up window screens and door screens from Lowes or Home Depot. They come in a variety of colors and are a really easy weekend DIY project. This will allow air to flow through your home while protecting you from teeny tiny invaders.
5. Get Creative in the Garden
Okay, it doesn’t directly cool your home, but bear with us a second. Planting some trees around your home is a great long-term investment that will cool your home for many years to come. A deciduous variety will reduce the amount of sunlight that reflects into your home in summer, while still allowing the sunlight to flood through the windows in winter.
The other thing worth considering is installing a water feature. A pond with a fountain, or even an indoor water feature, can act a little bit like an evaporative air conditioner. Evaporating water absorbs heat from the air, cooling it before it enters your home. The only trick is to ensure the water keeps running – again, it’s all about stopping them skeeters.
Hopefully that gave you a few new ideas. There are lots of things you can do to keep your home cool this summer. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment, please give us a call.