Save Money with These Easy Cooling Savings Tips

Here are several cooling savings tips that are easy to incorporate into a seasonal routine and help reduce cooling costs:

Unused Rooms - Don't air-condition an empty room. If you have a central air conditioning system, only turn the system on for the zones that you actively occupy. Also, turn your air conditioner off when you leave your home.

Curtains - An easy cooling savings tip is to shade windows that face south, east, and west. Keeping windows, drapes, and shades closed during the day helps keep unwanted heat out of your home. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes in through windows.

Use A Timer - Install a programmable thermostat or use a timer to turn on your air conditioner a half hour before you return home rather than having it run all day.

Open Windows - Don't run your air conditioner when the outdoor temperature is below 72-74 degrees F. The free cooling savings tip is to open the windows instead.

Keep Your Air Conditioner Out Of The Sun - Install your air conditioner in a shady area, if possible. This may not sound like much, but a shaded air conditioner works much more efficiently, when it only has to expel the heat from the house, as opposed to the added load of operating warm or hot.

Keep Your Oven Off - When it's time to cook in the summer months, grill outside and keep your oven off.

Summer Appliance Usage - In the summer months, run your washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher early or at night when it's generally cooler.

Inspect Your Air Conditioner - Switching to high-efficiency air conditioners and reducing your air-conditioning use can cut your cooling costs by 20 to 50 percent. Every year, inspect and clean your air conditioner or cooling system. A well-maintained unit uses less electricity.

Clean Your Air Conditioner - If you have central air-conditioning, keep the condenser unit's coils and fins clean. Remove grass, leaves, and other debris that may collect on them.

Settings - If possible, set your air conditioner to no cooler than 78 degrees. Setting your air conditioner lower than 78 degrees can increase your costs by up to 40 percent.

Proper Air Conditioner Sizing - When buying a room air conditioner, make sure it is properly sized. A larger-than-needed air conditioner cycles on and off more frequently, reducing its efficiency. Frequent cycling makes indoor temperatures fluctuate more and creates a less comfortable environment, while using more electricity.

Unused Room Vents - If you have central air, block the vents in unoccupied rooms.

Programmable Thermostats - If you have central a/c, consider a programmable thermostat.

Filters - Clean or replace air conditioner filters at least once a month during the cooling season.

Ceiling Fans - Use fans whenever possible instead of air-conditioning. Fans use far less energy than air conditioners and often can provide the same level of comfort.

Alternate Cooling Devices - Alternate the use of air-conditioning and fans. When you're comfortable, shut down your air conditioner and turn on the fan. This approach can cut air conditioner use by up to 40 percent.

Whole-House Fan - Install a whole-house fan in your attic to draw cool air inside through windows and force hot air out through attic vents.

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