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Beat the Heat: Energy-Saving Tips for Cumberland County Homes

The Libby Starnes Team

We're dedicated to bringing you a one-of-a-kind real estate experience you won't find anywhere else.

We're dedicated to bringing you a one-of-a-kind real estate experience you won't find anywhere else.

Jun 10 1 minutes read

With the summer season ushering in its fair share of sunny days here in Cumberland County, Maine, many of us are gearing up for the inevitable increase in temperatures—and perhaps dreading the subsequent rise in energy bills. But fear not, locals! Keeping your home cool and your energy consumption in check during our warmest months doesn't have to be a Herculean task. By integrating a few strategic practices and perhaps making some minor home improvements, you can achieve a more energy-efficient living space. Here's how:

Seal Your Home

Begin your summer preparations by checking your home for air leaks, especially around windows, doors, and air vents. Given Cumberland County's diverse architecture, from historic homes in Portland to newer constructions along the coastline, different properties might have varying levels of insulation and airtightness. Using weather-stripping or caulking to seal up these gaps can significantly improve your home’s ability to maintain a cool environment.

Bulk Up Insulation

Effective insulation is crucial, not only for those chilly Maine winters but also for keeping out the summer heat. Assess the condition of your attic, walls, and floors to ensure they are adequately insulated. Homes in regions facing the Atlantic, such as Cape Elizabeth or Scarborough, might benefit from extra insulation to combat the summer heat magnified by proximity to the water.

Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

If it’s time to replace your appliances, consider switching to energy-efficient models bearing the ENERGY STAR label. This is especially pertinent in Cumberland County where we cherish our natural landscape and strive to minimize our carbon footprint. Efficient appliances can lead to substantial savings on your energy bills, a boon for any Maine household.

Leverage Natural Ventilation

Use the cooler early morning and late evening breezes to your advantage. Opening windows on opposite sides of the house can create a delightful cross-breeze that flushes out the warm air. Properties near the coast can particularly benefit from this method, enjoying the natural, cool sea air.

Strategize with Window Treatments

Sunlight streaming through your windows can significantly increase your home’s internal temperature. Light-colored curtains or blinds can reflect the sun’s rays, helping to keep your home cooler without overburdening your air conditioning system. This is especially useful in sunny towns like Falmouth, where natural light is abundant.

Smart Thermostat Settings

With the use of programmable thermostats, you can set your air conditioning to work around your schedule, ensuring efficient use of energy. Setting the temperature to around 78°F when you’re home and increasing it when you’re away can make a noticeable difference in your energy consumption without sacrificing comfort.

HVAC System Maintenance

Ensure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape with regular maintenance checks. This is crucial for maintaining an efficient and reliable system, particularly in older Cumberland County homes that might have outdated systems. Clean or replace your air filters regularly to improve airflow and system efficiency.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows

For those in the position to invest, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can have a noticeable impact on your home's temperature regulation. This is a solid investment in Cumberland County, where the scenic views are as much a part of the home as its interior. These windows can help maintain your view and your comfort simultaneously.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans complement air conditioning beautifully, circulating cool air throughout your home and allowing you to set your thermostat a bit higher. Ensure they’re spinning counterclockwise during the summer to push cool air down. Fans are particularly effective in rooms with high ceilings, common in many Portland homes.

Embrace Shade and Landscaping

Utilize natural shade and smart landscaping to protect your home from excessive heat. Planting trees to shade your home can naturally reduce your reliance on air conditioning, seamlessly blending ecological sustainability with energy efficiency. Consider installing awnings or pergolas for immediate shade, particularly valuable for homes with sizable backyards or outdoor living spaces.

By adopting these practical, energy-efficient strategies, residents of Cumberland County can enjoy a cooler, more comfortable summer without the dread of excessive energy bills. Remember, integrating just a few of these practices can make a significant difference in how your home handles the summer heat. Here’s to a comfortable, sustainable, and enjoyable season ahead!

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