Lower Cooling Bills this Summer

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This Spring we’ve had a taste of what summer will bring — high temperatures and humidity.  The good news is that there are lots of simple things we can do to beat the heat and still keep our energy bills in check.  Following these tips will not only reduce your expenses, but also benefit the environment.  By lowering energy usage, you’ll reduce pollution and greenhouse gases associated with electricity generation.

  • Block the heat of the sun from entering south- and west-facing rooms.  Keeping drapes (especially thermal or insulated ones) closed during the day works the best.
  • Turn on the ceiling fans and make sure air is flowing downward.   Ceiling fans, especially Energy Star-rated models, use only a small amount of energy.
  • Window fans can bring in cooler air at night.  A whole-house fan can cool your entire home efficiently.
  • If you use central air conditioning, turn up the temperature to 78 degrees (or higher).  Doing this will still eliminate the humidity in your home and keep it cool & comfortable.
  • Change your HVAC filters, as needed, and properly maintain the system to keep it operating efficiently.  Also seal leaky ducts.
  • Install a programmable themostat and you won’t have to remember to adjust the temperature (by increasing the temp) when you’re away from home or sleeping.
  • Opt for Energy Star-rated room air conditioners when shopping.
  • Plant deciduous shade trees on the sunny south- and west-facing sides of your home.  You’ll not only keep the inside and outside of your house cooler, but you’ll increase curb appeal.
  • Choose compact fluorescents or LED lighting.  They burn cooler and use much less energy than conventional incandescent light bulbs.
  • 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.

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

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