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RI Homes: Stay Cool and Save Energy This Summer

Nick Slocum

Meet Nick Slocum, a third-generation real estate and insurance agent with a passion for delivering exceptional service and shaping his own path in the...

Meet Nick Slocum, a third-generation real estate and insurance agent with a passion for delivering exceptional service and shaping his own path in the...

Jun 10 1 minutes read

As we embrace the sunny skies and outdoor adventures that Rhode Island summers offer, homeowners face the annual challenge of keeping their homes comfortable without cranking up the energy bills. Yes, our beautiful Ocean State can get quite warm, but fear not! There are effective ways to maintain a cool home during those steamy months without emptying your wallet. Let’s take a journey through some practical steps tailored for Rhode Islanders looking to combine comfort with energy efficiency this summer:

1. Seal the Deal

Starting with the basics, inspect your Rhode Island home for air leaks before the summer heat intensifies. Those pesky gaps around windows, doors, and vents are your number one energy zappers. A quick fix with weather-stripping or caulking can keep the cool air in and the hot air where it belongs - outside. It's a simple and cost-effective step with immediate return on comfort.

2. Insulation: Not Just for Winter

While we associate insulation with keeping our homes cozy during our chilly winters, it’s equally vital for repelling heat in the summer. Check the insulation in your attic, walls, and especially those older coastal homes that might lack sufficient insulation. Upgrading can be a game-changer for maintaining your home’s cool during our humid summer months.

3. Appliance Revolution

Did you know that the appliances in your home can be major contributors to your monthly utility bills? It might be time for an upgrade. Opt for ENERGY STAR-certified appliances which consume significantly less electricity. This is especially relevant in Rhode Island where we love our historic homes but sometimes cling to older, less efficient appliances a bit too long.

4. Breeze Through

Rhode Island nights can offer a cool reprieve from the day's heat. Leverage these breezes by opening your windows during early mornings and evenings to naturally cool your home. This method not only saves energy but also invites the soothing sounds of our seaside state into your living space.

5. Smart Window Treatments

Implement light-colored curtains, blinds, or shades to reflect sunlight and keep your Rhode Island home naturally cooler. Given our unique coastal and urban landscapes, choosing reflective window treatments can significantly reduce your need for air conditioning, especially in sun-drenched areas.

6. The Thermostat Dance

In the realm of energy efficiency, the thermostat plays a crucial role. A programmable thermostat can work wonders for Rhode Islanders by adjusting the indoor temperature based on your daily schedule, balancing comfort and savings. Keeping your thermostat set between 76-80°F during the summer can make a considerable difference.

7. HVAC: Your Summer BFF

Regular maintenance of your HVAC system isn’t just a recommendation; it’s a necessity, especially in the humid Rhode Island summers. Ensure your system is professionally inspected and cleaned annually to avoid any mid-summer breakdowns. And remember, changing your air filters regularly is akin to giving your HVAC a breath of fresh air.

8. Windows to the World of Efficiency

If your budget allows, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can make a significant impact. For us Rhode Islanders, windows that resist heat transfer can keep our homes cooler in the summer, not to mention the savings on energy costs and the added benefit of protecting your interior from UV damage.

9. Fan Club

Ceiling fans may seem vintage, but they are an exceptionally efficient compliment to your air conditioning system, especially in homes with high ceilings or those beautiful open-plan spaces common in newer Rhode Island homes. Ensure they’re set to rotate counterclockwise during the summer to push cool air down.

10. Shade and Landscaping

Strategically placed trees and landscaping can be your home's best ally in beating the heat. Not only can they provide shade and cool your home naturally, but they also enhance your property's curb appeal. In Rhode Island, consider planting native trees that thrive in our environment for the best results.

Embracing these energy-efficient strategies can help Rhode Island homeowners enjoy a cool and comfortable summer without dreaded high energy bills. It's all about making thoughtful adjustments to how we live and maintain our homes. Here's to a cooler, greener summer in our beloved Ocean State.

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