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10 Cool Tips for a South Central PA Summer Home

Darius Ramsey

Since getting my real estate license back in 2005, I've been deeply immersed in the vibrant world of property and homes...

Since getting my real estate license back in 2005, I've been deeply immersed in the vibrant world of property and homes...

Jun 10 1 minutes read

When the summer sun takes command of the South Central Pennsylvania sky, sending temperatures soaring across cities like Harrisburg, Hershey, and the charming boroughs from Carlisle to York and the neighborhoods nestled in Lancaster's rolling countryside, staying cool becomes more than just a desire—it's practically a survival strategy. The thought of rising energy bills alongside the mercury can be anything but refreshing. Yet, the quest for a comfortably cool home in this diverse region, without draining the bank account, is a challenge well within reach. With a touch of local insight and a few strategic adjustments, maintaining an energy-efficient haven throughout the hotter months can be simpler than you might think.

Seal Your Summer Sanctuary

In preparation for South Central PA's humid summer onslaught, begin with a complete home audit for air leaks. The gap under the door in your Lancaster farmhouse or the window in your Camp Hill colonial can be the weak link in your cooling efforts. Weather-stripping and caulking are your best allies here, providing an affordable fix that keeps the cool in and the heat out across all our varied architecture, from historic Gettysburg residences to modern Mechanicsburg developments.

Insulation Isn't Just for Winter

Our region's homes, with their diversity from newly built estates in the Hershey outskirts to century-old townhouses in York, often face the challenge of inconsistent insulation. Don't let your home's age dictate its temperature. Adding or upgrading insulation, particularly in attics, walls, and even floors, can block that summer heat transfer more effectively than you might imagine.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades Pay Off

The leap to ENERGY STAR appliances is a win-win for both the environment and your wallet, especially in a region where summer brings a mix of scorching days and sudden thunderstorms. Whether it’s a new air conditioner for your Shippensburg home or a fridge for your Elizabethtown kitchen, opting for models with the ENERGY STAR label can carve a significant chunk out of your utility bills over time.

Embrace the Breeze—or Create It

Evenings in places like Carlisle or Lebanon often bring a welcome coolness. By opening windows to encourage cross-ventilation, you can capture this free cooling source. And where nature falls short, window fans or attic vents can push hot air out, drawing cooler evening air throughout your home.

Window Wisdom

Direct sunlight is your interior’s nemesis during the long summer days. Employing light-colored curtains, blinds, or shades, especially with reflective backing, can deflect those potent rays. This simple step ensures homes in sunny locales like Dillsburg or the wide-open spaces around Chambersburg stay cooler, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient.

Smart Thermostats for Smart Homes

Upgrading to a programmable thermostat allows you to tailor cooling to your schedule, avoiding energy waste in unoccupied houses. Given our region’s variable summer climate, setting your thermostat to maintain a range between 76-80°F when you’re home (aiming for the sweet spot around 78°F) strikes the perfect balance between comfort and efficiency.


Your HVAC system battles hard against South Central PA’s summer humidity and heat. Annual inspections, coupled with regular filter changes, keep your system running smoothly, ensuring you stay cool in places like Hanover and Gettysburg without unexpected breakdowns.

Consider Energy-Efficient Windows

If upgrades are on your mind, energy-efficient windows with low-E coatings offer significant benefits by reducing heat transfer. This is an investment that pays dividends year-round, from the icy winters in the Cumberland Valley to the sweltering summers of Lancaster County.

Fan the Flames of Cool

Ceiling fans, set to rotate counterclockwise during the hot months, can make a room feel considerably cooler. This age-old solution is perfect for enhancing your air conditioner's efficiency or for those in-between days common in areas like Middletown or Hershey when full AC isn’t necessary.

Go Green with Shade

The strategic planting of trees or the installation of awnings can significantly cut down on your home’s solar exposure. For the vast farmlands and sprawling suburbs alike, natural shade or even pergolas can offer a serene and cool retreat from the direct heat, reducing the burden on your cooling systems.

By integrating these focused strategies, residents of South Central Pennsylvania can transform their homes into bastions of cool comfort, negating the dread of summer heatwaves. The journey to energy efficiency and reduced utility bills doesn’t require a sacrifice of comfort or aesthetic appeal. With these tailored adjustments, you can relish the summer's beauty from the cool, sustainable comfort of your home.

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