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Posted June 1, 2012 by HomeOwnerOffers in Green Living
 
 

Five Ways to Keep Cooling Costs Low as Temperatures Rise



Five Ways to Keep Cooling Costs Low as Temperatures Rise

Rising temperatures often signal rising energy bills for many homeowners. If you’re concerned about high cooling costs, follow these five simple strategies to boost energy efficiency and lower your energy bills during the summer months.

  1. Change Your Air Filter. One of the best things you can do to make your air conditioner more efficient is to change its filter. A dirty filter forces your A/C to work harder, which eats up energy and drives cooling costs through the roof. Air filters should be changed at least every three months, and monthly changes may be necessary during the peak of the cooling season.
  2. Manage Air Conditioner Use. Every degree higher you set your thermostat saves you money, so it makes sense to keep the temperature as high as you can without sacrificing comfort. One of the easiest ways to manage A/C use is to install a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set an efficient cooling schedule based on your daily routine. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive, and many homeowners make back their initial investment in the form of energy savings within a year.
  3. Cool Off With a Fan. A fan might not be able to totally replace your air conditioner, but it can certainly help you use it less. Fans – especially ceiling fans – use very little energy, and the gentle breeze they create makes your home feel cooler than it actually is. To maximize energy savings, turn on a fan when you enter a room, then turn it off when you leave; or hook your fan up to a motion sensor so this happens automatically.
  4. Use Your Windows Wisely. During the summer months, your windows can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Opening a window on mild mornings and evenings can ease the burden on your air conditioner. On hot days, however, keep the shades down on your windows to keep the sun from heating up your home.
  5. Seal Air Leaks. Cool air can escape your home through gaps and cracks around windows, doors, vents, pipes, foundations and baseboards. These leaks can be sealed with caulk and weather stripping. Air leaks can also occur in your air ducts themselves, and ductwork can be professionally sealed to insure that you’re A/C cools your home as efficiently as possible.