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West Michigan Lakeshore: Your Guide to a Cooler, Greener Summer Home

Dirk Stone

I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses and being out and about...

I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses and being out and about...

Jun 10 1 minutes read

As West Michigan embraces the summer warmth, many of us living along the Lakeshore are gearing up for sunny days, gorgeous lake views, but also the potential for high energy bills. Fear not, folks of the West Michigan Lakeshore! Keeping your cool while minimizing costs and environmental impact is within reach. Prepare to transform your home into an oasis of efficiency and comfort with these ten smart tactics:

1. Seal & Secure

Before summer takes full effect, conducting a thorough check for drafts or leaks around your abode is crucial. Those sneaky drafts around doors, windows, and vents are notorious for letting cool air flee your home. Weather-stripping or caulking can be a cost-effective game-changer, especially in our historic lakeside properties where character often comes with a side of draftiness.

2. A Cooler Insulation Upgrade

Insulation isn't just a winter warrior; it's also your summer sidekick. Check the insulation in your attic—a common heat entry point in West Michigan homes—and upgrade if it's not up to snuff. Proper insulation keeps the Lake Michigan summer heat at bay, keeping your indoor climate pleasantly cool.

3. Choose Efficiency with Appliances

When your old appliances are ready to retire, consider energy-efficient replacements. Look specifically for those ENERGY STAR-rated devices that are a perfect fit for our eco-conscious community. Less electricity equals less heat generated inside your home, not to mention the long-term savings on your energy bills and a smaller carbon footstep on our beautiful lakeshore environment.

4. Embrace Natural Ventilation

In the early morning and late evening, when the air along the lakeshore is deliciously cool, open those windows! Cross-ventilation is your friend, especially if you live close to the water where the breeze is just right. Consider window fans to enhance this effect and keep your air conditioning from overworking itself.

5. Smart Window Treatments

Blinds, curtains, or shades can be your best defense against the summer sun's heat. Opt for light-reflecting colors to fend off solar heat gain. With this strategy, our pleasant West Michigan sun will brighten your home without turning it into a sauna.

6. Thermostat Wisdom

A programmable thermostat can be a lifesaver, or shall we say, a cool-saver. Set it to align with your daily schedule; 78°F is the sweet spot where comfort meets energy conservation. This is particularly handy for those days when you're out enjoying the shores of Lake Michigan and don’t need your home to be quite as cool.

7. HVAC System TLC

Annual check-ups for your HVAC system aren’t just recommended, they're essential to surviving the West Michigan summer. The right maintenance and regular filter changes keep your system efficient and extend its lifespan, ensuring it’s up for the challenge of keeping your lakeshore home cool.

8. The Window to Efficiency

If it’s within your budget, consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows. This is a particularly savvy move in historical lakeside homes where old windows are both a charm and a challenge. Low-E coatings and insulated frames help keep your indoor climate controlled, making your home an energy-efficient fortress.

9. Fan the Breeze

Ceiling fans are a low-cost complement to air conditioning, promoting air circulation without significantly lowering the temperature. Ensure they’re set to rotate counterclockwise during the summer to create a cool, gentle breeze throughout your home, making West Michigan's summer nights even more enjoyable.

10. Landscape for Shade

Planting trees strategically around your property can block solar heat, cooling your home naturally. Shade trees not only add to the natural beauty of the West Michigan Lakeshore but also enhance privacy and reduce your reliance on air conditioning. Awnings and pergolas can also provide stylish protection from the sun over your windows or patio.

Implementing these strategies will not only maximize your comfort during the West Michigan Lakeshore’s summer but also lead to significant savings and a lighter ecological footprint. Embrace these tips, and make your home a model of energy efficiency this season. Here’s to a cooler, greener home where the only thing that’s hot is the sand on the beach.

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