Who doesn’t love summer? Surely, it’s the perfect time to give your adventurous self a treat: go to the beach, climb a mountain, and learn a new skill perhaps. You have probably been looking forward to your planned getaways as early as January, but have you thought about preparing your condo for summer?
Summer months can spike up your electricity bills due to the higher demand for air-conditioning. In warmer regions and countries like the Philippines, AC usage can account for up to 70% of your summer electric bill. Getting your condominium unit ready for the season can help you save on electricity and make your place comfy enough to allow for a relaxing stay. So without further ado, here are 10 tips that can help make your condo cool and summer-ready.
1. Get your air-conditioner in condition
Don’t wait until your AC is no longer working properly before you get it inspected and cleaned by a professional. This is particularly necessary if you have been living in your unit and had the AC installed for quite some time now and you haven’t had it checked since then. If upon inspection the technicians find something wrong with your AC unit, do not hesitate to have it repaired before the problem gets worse. Furthermore, to make sure that your air-conditioner functions optimally, always see to it that its filters are kept clean and fresh. If you don’t know any AC technician, you can always ask your DMCI Homes leasing officer for assistance.
2. Ready, set, cool!
Most of the newer air-conditioning units already have built-in timer and programmable thermostat, but if yours don’t have them, you can get a separate device. A programmable thermostat lets you customize the cooling levels in your home according to your needs. For instance, you can leave the AC on a higher temperature while you’re away and set it to cool your unit an hour before you return home. You can also set the timer and thermostat to automatically turn off after a few hours of running continuously.
3. Cover up your windows
There are days when the sun likes to show its supremacy. Conventional window treatments such as curtains and blinds can be used to prevent heat-carrying sunlight from entering your home. They can reduce solar heat gain through windows by around 20% to 60%, depending on the openness and color of the material or fabric. Keep the windows shut during the hottest hours of the day to keep your unit cool and help keep your AC from working double-time. Pay special attention to windows in rooms that face west, as these areas tend to receive the most sunlight later on in the day. Additionally, choose light colors for your curtains and blinds to leverage their ability to reflect sunlight back out through the window.
4. Ventilation is key
To make the most of condo living, you must put utmost attention to ensuring good ventilation, which helps eliminate excess moisture in the air that can increase indoor humidity—something that you can’t afford to have in your home especially on a hot summer day. Furthermore, maintaining an indoor humidity level of 35% to 45% is known to provide optimal comfort. Common household activities such as cooking and showering can easily add moisture in the air. Moisture itself is not usually a problem, but when the air space is reduced but the same volume of moisture content is present, it paves the way for excessive moisture accumulation. Since condo units have smaller indoor spaces, they are highly susceptible to moisture-related issues such as mold and mildew buildup. Ventilation means supplying your home with fresh air and diluting or removing stale air. You can do this by installing exhaust fans in areas where moisture is highly likely to be produced such as the bathroom and kitchen, and by making sure that they are working properly.
5. Add greenery
Aside from adequate ventilation, one way to improve indoor air quality is to incorporate the beauty of indoor plants in your condo interior design. Air-cleaning plants such as snake plants, spider plants, and small-leafed rubber plants can help filter indoor air, making your space cleaner and healthier. If you are also looking for summer decorating tips, plants can add to your condo’s aesthetics, so you’re actually hitting two birds with one stone!
6. Consider installing a ceiling fan
On moderately warm days, a ceiling fan may be enough to keep you comfortable. Furthermore, during the hotter months of the year, changing the fan’s direction can help increase the amount of cool air in your condo unit. Let your ceiling fan’s blades rotate counter-clockwise to allow better air circulation.
7. Purge the fridge
Summer without cold drinks to enjoy by your lonesome or with a DMCI Community friend can’t be called summer at all! Whether you’re serving simple iced tea or light beer, you need to have some ice ready at all times. To make room and be prepared for the extra demand, empty your freezer and defrost. Audit the contents of your fridge and get rid of anything that has been in there for a while. (You know there are still leftovers there!) With freed up space, you can now stock up on new items besides ice—think ice cream and popsicles! Moreover, this may be a good time to clean your refrigerator’s condensing coils to keep it running smoothly. Unplug the fridge then remove the base plate or top grate. See your user’s manual to locate the coils. Remove any dirt and lint using a vacuum cleaner with the nozzle attached. If you’re not up for this job, you can definitely call a pro to do the checking and cleaning.
8. Let the summer breeze in
Preparing your home for summer also involves cleaning your windows and window treatments such as blinds and screens. Even if it’s hot outside and you’d like to keep the heat out as much as possible, there are times when you wouldn’t want to miss on the warm summer breeze. Take the time to clean, repair or replace your windows as well as window and door screens. On moderate, breezy days, opening your windows can also help in improving ventilation and natural airflow.
9. Make room for guests
Living in a condo community in the Philippines with complete amenities can make spending summer more enjoyable. You can easily invite friends and family to come over for a mini party or to simply have a staycation. However, when you do, you need to be prepared to accommodate your guests. Take the time to freshen up your guest room. If you don’t have one, it may be a good idea to keep foldable foam mattresses handy.
10. Put heat-generating devices away
From your AC and thermostat that is. The heat that lamps, TV sets, and other heat-producing appliances emit can cause the thermostat to read higher temperature and force the air-conditioning unit to work more than necessary.
Summer is a season for having fun, but if you always feel the need to go out because you can’t stay in your own home due to the heat, you may be robbed of that fun! With these tips for preparing your condo unit for summer, you can now relax at home without being bothered by the heat so much. Indeed, it is not impossible to make condo living in the Philippines enjoyable all year round.