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Keep Cool And Save On Energy Costs
Turn Up the Thermostat
When using central air conditioning, you may not need to keep your home as cool as you think you do, particularly if you're using ceiling fans to circulate the air. Aim for 78 degrees when you're home and 85 degrees when you're away. A programmable thermostat is an easy way to help you regulate temperature around your daily schedule. Also shut vents in the basement—if you have one—to force more cool air upstairs where it's hotter.
Use Ceiling Fans
Keeping the cool air circulating will prevent your air conditioner from needing to work so hard. Make sure your fans are rotating counterclockwise in the summer for them to work most efficiently. Even better than ceiling fans is a whole house fan, a fan installed in the attic which draws in cool air and blows out all of the hot air that rises.
Open the Windows at Night
Once the outdoor temperature dips below 80 degrees and the sun is low or down, open your windows and turn off the air conditioning. Keep the windows open until temperatures rise again the next morning.
Avoid the Oven
Your oven and stove use a lot of energy and can also heat up your home. Enjoy the warm weather and eat cold foods like sandwiches, salads and fruit. If you have to use heat, the microwave is the most energy-efficient appliance.
Air Dry Your Clothes
Stretch a clothes line and hang your clothes to air dry instead of using your dryer. If you don't have a lot of outdoor space, you can set up an indoor clothes drying rack.
Use Window Film
Solar control window film prevents excess heat from entering through your windows and glass doors. It's an inexpensive way to save a lot of energy costs during the hot summer months, particularly if you don't already have energy-efficient windows.
Replace Air Filters
The filters on your air conditioner need to be replaced about once a month. With new filters your home will cool down quicker and your air conditioner won't work as hard.
Air that leaks through cracks is literally money going right out the window. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal leaks around windows and doors. You may also benefit from a professional contractor inspecting for leaks in your ducts.
Shade Your Home
Trees, patio covers and awnings prevent a lot of summer heat from entering your home in the first place. Planting some new trees or shrubs can be a great long-term energy-saving investment.