How to Maintain Indoor Comfort During Heat Waves

How to Maintain Indoor Comfort During Heat Waves

When those extreme days of summer come, it pays to be prepared. Instead of spending the day soaking in your own sweat, you can avoid the discomfort with the right strategy. Fortunately, we’re going to share with you our best tips for keeping your home cool during the next summertime heat wave.

Keep the Direct Sunlight Out

If you’ve ever sat near a sunny window, then you know just how hot the sun can be. In fact, the sun can heat up the various rooms in your home by 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more. To avoid having to overrun your air conditioning system to combat this excess heat, it only makes sense to keep it out in the first place. Traditional methods that work well are to use curtains or blinds. However, if you still want to be able to see out of your window, you may want to spend a little more and buy UV window film. This is a specialized film that you can place on your windows to block out the sunlight.

Use Exhaust Fans

Whenever steam is created, it increases the humidity level inside your home. As the humidity level gets higher, it becomes harder for your body to sweat. This means that your body struggles to adequately cool down, and you feel much hotter. Keeping steam out of your home should be a top priority. One of the best ways to do this is by running your exhaust fans. Whenever you take a shower, make sure your bathroom exhaust fan is running to vent that steam directly to the outdoors. The same holds true for your stove’s range hood.

Run Ceiling Fans

If you haven’t already installed ceiling fans in your home, it’s high time you considered doing so. These fans can go a long way in helping to supplement your HVAC system throughout the year. More specifically, in the hot summer months, your ceiling fan will create a much-needed breeze. This breeze creates a wind chill effect on your body, where sweat is wicked away quickly. This cools down your body and makes you feel like the room is colder than it actually is. Just make sure that your ceiling fans are spinning in a counterclockwise direction to receive the best comfort results.

Cook Outside

Cooking is one of those activities that can introduce uncomfortable heat into your home. Just running the stovetop for a few minutes can make your kitchen feel unbearable. Do yourself a favor and skip cooking indoors. Rather, take it to the outdoors. By using an outdoor grill or pizza oven, you can leave all that heat outside. If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, consider using the microwave or preparing cold meals for your family during the heat wave.

Avoid Using Your Dryer

Your clothes dryer can create a lot of unnecessary heat that gets trapped inside your home. It’s best to avoid using it. Instead, opt for hang-drying your clothes outdoor. Not only can you avoid creating heat, but you can reduce your energy bills in the process by using your clothes dryer less.

Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clear

The outside condenser unit plays a big role in your air conditioning system’s ability to adequately cool your home. If the unit has its vents obstructed by debris, like leaves, it can restrict airflow. When your unit can’t get the proper airflow it needs, it will struggle to cool your home efficiently. Before any major heat wave, be sure to take a moment to inspect your outdoor AC unit. Remove any debris stuck up against its housing and straighten out any bent fins.

Invest in Quality Insulation

Your home’s insulation is a barrier between the inside and outside of your home. The more resistant that barrier is to the outdoor heat, the more effective it’s going to be at keeping your air-conditioned air inside your home. If you haven’t checked your insulation lately, give it a glance. If it doesn’t meet or exceed the recommended R-value for your area of the country, then consider replacing it with insulation that does.

Unplug Unused Appliances

It’s very common in this day and age to have multiple appliances plugged into the outlets throughout your home. Unfortunately, all of your appliances can create heat, even when they’re just in stand-by mode. To help reduce this unnecessary heat and energy usage, simply unplug appliances that aren’t in use.

Have a Fresh HVAC Filter

Your air conditioning system will have an air filter that’s responsible for removing unwanted airborne debris from your home. This can include things like dust, pollen, and even pet dander. As your filter works, it will trap these particles in its fibers. As your filter approaches the end of its lifespan, its fibers will be so thick with debris that your cooling system will have to work overtime to pass air through it.

You can avoid having this problem by simply replacing your old air filter with a new one. You should always have new filters on hand for this reason. Before any major heat wave hits, check the state of your existing HVAC filter to see if it needs to be replaced. This way, you can be assured that your cooling system’s energy is fully going into producing cold air for your home.

Seal All Air Leaks

Your home can develop air leaks around its exterior walls. These show up most commonly around doors, windows, light switches, and outlets. Run your hand around these areas and see if you feel a difference in temperature. If you do, you likely have an air leak that needs to be sealed off. You can use weatherstripping or caulking to handle air leaks around windows and doors. When it comes to electrical outlets and light switches, there are foam inserts that can be installed to block out unwanted outside air.

Ensure Your Attic Is Well-Ventilated

As the temperatures heat up outdoors, so does your roof. The heat will penetrate through your shingles and into your attic. If your attic is closed off, heat levels can reach well over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. While insulation is resistant to heat, that only holds true up to a certain temperature.

Most residential insulation won’t withstand these high temperatures and will allow heat to penetrate into the rooms of your home, heating up its overall temperature. You can help to prevent this unwanted heat penetration by properly ventilating your attic. This can be done by opening attic vents and/or turning on ventilation fans. By getting air movement through your attic, it will help to lower its overall temperature so your insulation can remain effective.

Top-Notch AC Service

Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating, & Air provides top-notch cooling services for the entire Sacramento, CA region. Our helpful technicians can also assist with all of your heating, ductless mini-split, plumbing, indoor air quality, commercial, and ducting needs. Give us a call today to schedule your next consultation with one of our experienced technicians.

The Benefits of Greywater Systems in Drought Conditions

The Benefits of Greywater Systems in Drought Conditions

While drought conditions have improved across California after a historically wet winter, you should expect them to reoccur in most of the state’s drier areas. Sacramento’s frequently hot and arid summers have always been prone to periodic droughts.

As such, our area particularly faces significant water resource management challenges. One practical approach for conserving the local water supply is discoverable in greywater systems. This innovative solution recycles water from sinks, showers, and washing machines for non-potable uses such as irrigation and toilet flushing.

The following sections explore the top 11 benefits of using greywater systems during California’s often intense drought conditions:

1. Reduced Water Consumption

Introducing a greywater plumbing solution can help you drastically cut down on water usage. The system lets you repurpose water from your showers, laundry, and sinks for significant decreases in the amount of water your home requires for non-drinking purposes.

Recycling water like this is vital in drought-prone areas like ours, where restrictions are common, and managing consumption is crucial for conserving the local water supply. Greywater systems alleviate pressure on municipal supplies while ensuring access to essential plumbing needs. Greywater solutions help us accomplish this without depleting water resources during scarcity.

2. Lower Utility Bills

Greywater home plumbing solutions can present significant cost-saving advantages over conventional systems. Foremost, they reduce your reliance on the municipal water supply. When you recycle water for household activities like laundry and showering, you reduce your household’s demand for treated municipal water.

Repurposing the water at your home also lowers your monthly utility bill. These savings accumulate over time while offering a practical solution for managing your household’s usage during drought conditions.

3. Safeguards Landscaping

For many homeowners, greywater systems are vital for sustaining landscaping during intense drought conditions when water is scarce. Since the system recycles used household water, you can rely on it for lawn and shrub irrigation during a drought.

This benefit allows homeowners to nurture their landscaping elements without tapping into limited local water reserves. This greywater approach will help you preserve a pristine-looking yard while reducing the reliance on more costly and less eco-friendly irrigation solutions. Greywater systems let homeowners keep their gardens flourishing even under the most arid conditions. They offer a sustainable and affordable resource conservation strategy that allows you to keep your expensive landscaping intact.

4. Prolongs Septic System Lifespans

For those who aim to significantly extend the lifespan of their septic systems, greywater plumbing solutions can alleviate everyday wear and tear. When recycled water from laundry, showers, and sinks reroutes to other essential uses, such as irrigation and toilet flushing, less liquid waste passes through your septic system.

This reduction in use prevents overloading and undue stress, which can lead to system failures and frequent maintenance requirements. This is particularly beneficial in rural areas that may lack advanced sewage infrastructure. Greywater solutions help ensure that your septic systems operate efficiently and sustainably for extended periods without costly service appointments.

5. Adapts to Multiple Property Types

Greywater solutions are a remarkably versatile option that can be installed in different property layouts. Suitable for residential dwellings, commercial spaces, or even smaller industrial units, these systems can integrate into virtually any existing plumbing network without major disruptions.

This added flexibility is particularly beneficial where water conservation measures are necessary but impractical. The capacity to adapt to different building types and usage requirements means that greywater systems can support a diverse range of settings and applications that demand reduced water consumption.

6. Improves Soil Health

Irrigating with greywater can enhance soil health. Since greywater from bathing and laundry contains traces of biodegradable soaps and natural cleaners, watering your garden introduces small amounts of nutrients akin to a mild fertilizer. However, expect the results to vary depending on the detergents you use.

Nonetheless, these elements can help to enrich the soil without the need for synthetic chemicals. Greywater solutions promote a more vibrant and sustainable garden ecosystem. This natural soil fortifier is especially valuable during lengthy drought periods when environmental conditions hamper plant growth.

7. Mitigates Runoff Problems

In our more urban settings, grappling with drought and controlling runoff is vital for preventing the intensification of localized flooding when we do get rain. Greywater systems can reroute household water to irrigate the surrounding landscapes instead of letting it dissipate into your storm drain system.

This process promotes a more gradual water absorption into the soil, reducing the immediate burden on city drainage infrastructure during intense rainfalls. Taking this strategic approach helps mitigate flood risks while enhancing groundwater replenishment.

8. Protects the Local Water Supply

The wide adoption of greywater systems can help safeguard our urban water supply. This practice reduces the demand for frequently restricted public resources, especially during droughts. Greywater systems help ensure sufficient potable water for all our essential needs.

Every household that implements a greywater system contributes to the collective conservation effort. This approach will also decrease water extraction from our lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.

9. A Self-Sufficient System

Implementing a greywater system offers a self-sustainable option for property owners when access to water is limited. Recycling water from daily activities like laundry and showering reduces the reliance on local city services, which often find themselves stretched during prolonged drought conditions.

This ability to manage your water needs onsite ensures a more consistent water supply for non-potable usage. Greywater solutions help conserve vital resources in times of scarcity, safeguarding your water resources during uncertain times.

10. A Reliable Produce Irrigation Option

Many Sacramento residents increasingly rely on their gardens as an essential food source. When facing strict watering restrictions imposed during severe droughts, greywater systems provide a reliable irrigation source for your produce garden. These systems let homeowners sustain their fruit and vegetable plants without violating local water use regulations.

Access to recycled water from your properties means you can continue nurturing your produce gardens and trees under restrictive conditions. This dependable irrigation supply also helps extend the growing season while preserving your valued food-bearing plants.

11. Minimizes Environmental Impact in Urban Areas

Greywater plumbing solutions perform an essential role in reducing your household’s environmental impact in our more urbanized regions. Recycling your household water can substantially decrease the volume of wastewater needed in local treatment facilities.

These sites consume high energy levels and often involve chemical processes to deliver clean household water. Reducing the demand for local water supply alleviates the pressure on our municipal wastewater systems while minimizing local waterway pollution. As our urban populations expand, greywater recycling can help address our region’s unique wastewater management challenges.

Leveraging Greywater Systems in Sacramento

Greywater plumbing systems can provide substantial environmental and economic benefits in drought-prone areas like ours. Using these systems, homeowners can significantly reduce water usage, ensuring sustainability and cost savings. At Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air, we can help you install and maintain your greywater system while delivering comprehensive heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and plumbing services to your home for year-round comfort.

Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air today for more on our innovative greywater solutions!