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Beat the Heat: Tallahassee's Guide to a Cooler, Energy-Savvy Summer Home

Debbie Kirkland

Debbie Kirkland started First Story Real Estate Company because she saw a need for radical changes in the real estate space...

Debbie Kirkland started First Story Real Estate Company because she saw a need for radical changes in the real estate space...

Jun 10 1 minutes read

With the Florida sun turning up the heat, Tallahassee residents might start to worry about the double whammy of enduring the muggy weather and facing soaring energy bills. Fear not, for transforming your home into an energy-efficient haven that combats the heat is not only possible—it’s pretty straightforward. Here, we bring local flavor to global wisdom on keeping your home pleasantly cool without draining your wallet.

Weatherproof Your Empire

Begin your battle against the heat by fortifying your home’s defenses. Drafts aren’t just a winter worry in Tallahassee; any gap that lets air escape can turn your AC into a costly endeavor. From Bradfordville to Apalachee Ridge, inspect your home’s windows, doors, and any ductwork for leaks. A bit of weather-stripping or caulking goes a long way in keeping the cool in and the warm, sticky Floridian air out.

Bulk Up Your Insulation

Insulation isn’t just a cozy blanket for the winter months; it’s your best defense against heat invasion. Older Tallahassee homes, especially those charming but leaky historic properties in Midtown or Betton Hills, may need an insulation upgrade. Check your attic, walls, and even floors—areas where the sun beats down mercilessly—and add insulation where necessary.

Choose Smarter Appliances

Is your refrigerator running… up your energy bill? As you contemplate upgrades to your appliances, aim for those with the ENERGY STAR label. These champs are designed to sip rather than gulp electricity, perfect for sultry Tallahassee summers. Whether it’s a new fridge or a washer, this upgrade can cut costs and keep your home cooler.

Embrace the Breeze

There’s something magical about the gentle gusts that roll in from the Gulf after sundown. Use nature’s AC by encouraging cross-ventilation in your home—open windows in the evening to let the cooler air through. Consider attic vents or window fans to boost airflow without cranking up the AC in neighborhoods from Killearn Estates to Southwood.

Shade Your Windows

The right window treatments can turn a typical Tallahassee sunroom from a sauna into a serene spot. Light-colored curtains or blinds with reflective backings bounce back the sun’s rays, helping keep your indoors cool. It’s a simple change that can have your AC thanking you by working less.

Thermostat Wisdom

Modern problems require modern solutions. Programmable thermostats can follow your schedule, keeping your home cooler when you need and easing up when you don’t. For many Tallahassee homes, setting the thermostat to the upper end of the comfortable range (76-80°F) during those long summer days can mean significant savings.

Keep Your AC in Fighting Shape

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and nowhere is this truer than with your HVAC system. In the lead-up to summer, get a professional to do a once-over to ensure everything’s in top shape. Regular filter changes are a must—your AC unit will work less hard, keeping you cool more efficiently.

Window Upgrades: A Clear Advantage

If you’re ready for a bigger home improvement project, consider energy-efficient windows. This upgrade can be particularly impactful in sun-drenched areas of Tallahassee, keeping your home cooler and reducing glare without sacrificing natural light. Look for windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings for the best results.

Cooling Fans: A Tallahassee Essential

Nothing beats a ceiling fan’s gentle breeze on a humid Tallahassee night. Ensure your fans are set to rotate counterclockwise in the summer to push cool air downward, offering relief without a significant increase in your energy bill. They’re especially effective in communal areas like living rooms or large, open kitchens.

Go Green, Stay Cool

Leveraging shade and landscaping is a savvy move in sunny Tallahassee. Plant native trees around your property to block the hottest sunrays—live oaks and maples are both excellent choices that thrive in our local climate. Awnings and pergolas can also shade your windows and patios, combining functionality with curb appeal.

Implementing these strategies can transform your Tallahassee home into a cool retreat, letting you enjoy the summer without fretting over your energy bill. Keeping cool doesn’t require a hefty investment or a compromise on comfort. With thoughtful adjustments and a bit of preventive maintenance, your home can remain an oasis of calm and cool throughout the scorching summer months.

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