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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 your home.
  • 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 with insulation.
  • 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.

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This article previously appeared in the Entergy Solutions Plus newsletter, and is used with permission.
 
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