Money-Saving Tips for Cooling Your Home
Air conditioning is essential to the comfort of your family, but summer cooling
costs can really make you sweat. The energy-saving tips that follow will help to
reduce your utility bills while providing adequate cooling:
Close window treatments during the day to prevent heat gain from the sun.
Have your air conditioner serviced before cooling season begins to ensure
that the system is running efficiently.
Use exhaust fans while cooking and showering to lower the humidity inside
Plant leafy trees and shrubs on the south and west sides of your home to
provide shade during the hottest hours of the day.
Use natural ventilation.
Change furnace air filters often; dirty air filters increase cooling costs.
Make sure your home is insulated according to recommended levels from the
U.S. Department of Energy.
Caulk or weather-strip all of your windows and doors; eliminating unwanted
air infiltration significantly reduces cooling costs.
Check ductwork in your attic or crawlspace to ensure it has not become
disconnected or obstructed. Make sure attic ductwork is covered sufficiently
Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise the
temperature setting at night and when you are away from home.
Set the thermostat to the highest temperature at which your family is still
comfortable. For each degree you set your thermostat below 78°F you add up
to 3 percent to your air-conditioning costs.
Consider using a whole-house attic fan to circulate air through the house
and move warm attic air to the outside.
If your air-conditioning system is older or frequently needs repair, consider
replacing it with a new unit that is sized correctly and qualifies for ENERGY
STAR certification. In some climates, air-source or geothermal heat pumps are a
highly efficient option for year-round heating and cooling.
This article previously appeared in the Entergy Solutions Plus newsletter, and is used with permission.
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