Shocking spike in fuel prices is hurting all of us. Click here.


How To Stay Cool For Less This Summer

summer efficiency tips new yorkIn warmer months, it’s tempting to crank the A/C here in Sullivan County – after all, nothing beats the heat quite like coming home to a cool house.

But there’s more to staying cool at home than just relying on your HVAC system – at least if you want to keep cooling bills manageable.

Here are 8 cost-effective ways to stay cool for less as things heat up in the coming months.

  1. Install window treatments. Did you know that nearly one-third of the unwanted heat in your home comes through your windows? Adding shades, blinds or window film to windows can lower temperatures substantially. In the long term, planting trees can provide enough shade to drop indoor temperatures by 10 degrees or more.
  2. Change your bed linens. Replace your winter flannels with cotton sheets for the summer – cotton sheets breathe easier and stay cooler (especially if you dampen them – a little trick the Egyptians use to use to stay cool along the Nile). Buckwheat pillows are great, too: the natural spaces between their hulls will help dissipate your body heat, unlike conventional pillows, which retain it.
  3. Use all your fans – Use ceiling fans to keep air flowing and create a wind-chill effect throughout the house – just remember to keep them running counter-clockwise for the best cooling action (see your fan’s instruction manual for details on how to reverse the spin of your blades). Floor, table and box fans will help, too – especially if you put a bowl of ice in front of them (try it – It works!). Box fans can also be placed facing out your window to draw hot air out of your room. And don’t forget about the exhaust fans in your bathroom, either – they’ll keep the hot, humid air from your shower from getting in the house.
  4. Keep your body cool – Choose light-colored clothing made from lightweight, breathable fabric, drink cold drinks, and cool off with a shower or bath to stay comfortable. Keeping a bowl of cool water near your bed will give you a quick way to cool off your feet on a hot night.
  5. Sleep low – Hot air rises, so consider sleeping in lower levels in the house on hot nights – or move your mattress to the floor.
  6. Replace incandescent light bulbs – If you’re using conventional lightbulbs, you’ve got a bunch of mini space heaters around your home: nearly 90 percent of the energy they produce is emitted as heat
    , not light. LEDs produce almost no heat – yet another reason to install them everywhere in your house.
  7. Cook outside – The last thing you want to do in the summer is turn on a 400-degree oven. Break out that propane grill and get cooking!
  8. Maintain your HVAC system – Let’s face it: there will be times that no amount of cool water spritzing and fan spinning will keep New York heat and humidity at bay. On those days, you’ll want to turn to central air conditioning that’s as effective and efficient as possible. To make sure your A/C is reliable and working at its best, have it maintained by the HVAC pros at Black Bear.

    Here are just some of what our experts will do for you:

    • inspect your system to look for potential problems
    • examine the fuel lines and points of connection
    • inspect exhaust outlets to check for damage like leaks or corrosion
    • check any electrical connections and voltage
    • carefully lubricate moving parts
    • make sure there is enough refrigerant in the air conditioner to work properly

For expert HVAC service in Sullivan County and beyond, trust the pros at Black Bear! Contact us today to schedule A/C maintenance with our team of pros.