How to Be Green by Lowering Your Cooling Bills

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In Part I of this series on lowering your summer utility bills, I focused on the quick and easy fixes that anyone can do.  In this post, I’ll concentrate on strategies that cost a bit more upfront, but will save you money in the long run. 

Not only does saving energy save you money, but it also benefits the environment by minimizing pollution caused by electricity generation.

  • Install a programmable themostat and you won’t have to remember to adjust the temperature every time when you’re away from home or sleeping.
  • Add a ceiling fan which uses only a small amount of energy, but can make a room feel 4-6 degrees cooler.  Be sure to set it to spin counterclockwise in summer.  You can even purchase a motion-detector switch so it turns on and off automatically.
  • Insulated Attic Stair Covers can save a significant amount of energy during both the heating and cooling seasons by keeping temperature extremes in the attic and out of your living spaces.
  • A whole-house attic fan does wonders to cool down the house.  Run it at night and open the windows to pull in the cooler night air.  You can save up to 50% on your cooling bills!
  • Properly maintain your HVAC system to keep it operating efficiently.  Also seal leaky ducts because in a typical house, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts, resulting in higher utility bills.
  • Opt for Energy Star-rated room air conditioners and HVAC systems if your old system is more than 10 years old and not operating efficiently.
  • Plant deciduous shade trees on the sunny south- and west-facing sides of your home.  You’ll not only keep areas inside and outside of your house cooler, but you’ll increase your home’s curb appeal and value.
  • Add weatherstripping and seal air leaks around windows and doors, and in your attic, basement and crawl space.  Use low-VOC products to not compromise good indoor air quality.
  • Ventilate and insulate your attic since the hot temps up there contribute to higher cooling costs in your living spaces.  Click here to see how much insulation the Department of Energy recommends for homes in your zip code.

Your new energy-efficient improvements may even qualify for a federal tax credit up to $500.   Additional incentives, including rebates, grants and loans may also be available by your State and local utility companies.

Tag(s): Energy, Greening the Home, Money Saving

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One Response to “How to Be Green by Lowering Your Cooling Bills”

  1. How To Be Green | Go Green » Go Green With Lower Cooling Bills on September 13th, 2011 9:11 pm

    […] benefits the environment by minimizing pollution caused by electricity generation…” Link RSS Trackback URL admin | September 13, 2011 (9:11 […]

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