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Boston Homes: Stay Cool and Efficient This Summer


LICENSE BROKER #9569629Adam grew up in Newton MA, attending Newton South High School before earning a B.S...

LICENSE BROKER #9569629Adam grew up in Newton MA, attending Newton South High School before earning a B.S...

Jun 10 1 minutes read

As Boston prepares to swap its famous snowy scenes for the summer sun, the thought of intense heat waves coupled with soaring energy costs can seem inevitable. Yet, achieving a breezily cool home throughout the Boston summer without draining your wallet is not just a pipe dream. By incorporating some thoughtful adjustments and adopting energy-smart habits, you can enhance your home's energy efficiency during these warmer months. Here's your tailored guide:

1. Seal the Deal

Before Boston's weather decides to turn up the heat, it's wise to scrutinize your home for potential air leaks. Sealing spaces around windows, doors, and ventilation can prevent the escape of that precious cool air. In Boston's charming, though sometimes drafty, historic homes, weather-stripping and caulking can be particularly effective in ensuring a cozy indoor climate without the excessive use of air conditioning.

2. Insulate and Elevate

In Boston, insulation is as crucial in summer as it is during our infamous winters. Insulation acts as a barrier against Boston's humid heat, keeping your interior spaces pleasantly cool. Assessing and possibly augmenting the insulation in your attic, walls, and even floors can significantly reduce heat penetration, a common plight in Boston's older residences.

3. Appliance Appraisal

If your home appliances seem to belong to a bygone era, considering an upgrade to energy-efficient models can be both an eco-friendly and economical move. The ENERGY STAR label is your ally here, symbolizing compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's stringent energy efficiency benchmarks. This step is particularly relevant in Boston, where savvy homeowners look for every opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and utility bills.

4. Welcome Natural Ventilation

Utilizing Boston's breezy early mornings and late evenings can help keep your home naturally cool. Embrace strategic window openings for cross-ventilation. For homes in Boston's denser neighborhoods, installing window fans or attic vents can significantly enhance air exchange, inviting cooler air without over-relying on air conditioning.

5. Smart Window Treatments

Adorning your windows with light-reflective curtains, blinds, or shades can block out Boston's potent summer sun. Especially in south-facing rooms, these treatments can considerably curb indoor heat gain, thus maintaining a cooler home environment and lessening the demand on air conditioning systems.

6. Thermostat Thoroughness

In the dance of daily Boston life, a programmable thermostat can ensure that cooling your home is both efficient and economical. By adjusting your thermostat to an energy-saving temperature range, preferably around 78°F when at home, you embrace a blend of comfort and conservation. It's a smart way to navigate Boston's variable summer climate without excessive energy use.

7. HVAC Health Check

Given Boston's penchant for unpredictable weather, maintaining your HVAC system in top condition is crucial. Annual inspections and cleanings, particularly ahead of the summer season, along with regular filter changes, can significantly boost system efficiency. This is a non-negotiable for Bostonians aiming for a summer of seamless indoor coolness.

8. Window Wisdom

For those in Boston considering home upgrades, switching to energy-efficient windows with low-E coatings can offer dual benefits: cooler summers and warmer winters, all while trimming down energy expenses. This investment is particularly apt for Boston's varied architecture, improving the performance of both modern condos and historic row houses.

9. Ceiling Fan Strategy

Ceiling fans represent an economical supplement to air conditioning, promoting improved air flow throughout Boston homes. By adjusting your fans to rotate counterclockwise, you can simulate a cooler environment, enhancing comfort during those muggy Boston summer nights.

10. Landscaping for Cooling

In Boston's urban landscape, thoughtful planting can provide not just aesthetic appeal but also a cooler home environment. Trees and shrubs can offer natural shade, significantly reducing thermal gain through windows. For those with the advantage of outdoor space, incorporating awnings or pergolas can extend living areas comfortably into the outdoors, shielded from the intensity of the summer sun.

Adapting these energy-efficient strategies to the unique characteristics of Boston homes can transform how you experience the summer months. Not only do these practices support sustainable living, but they also promise a cooler, more enjoyable home atmosphere, proving that staying cool in Boston doesn't have to come at the expense of your wallet or the planet. So, as the summer approaches, prepare to beat the heat with insight and innovation, ensuring your Boston home stands as a beacon of comfort and efficiency.

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