FREQUENTLY NEGLECTED IDEAS FOR STAYING COOL AND SAVING MONEY
Many of us operate our home’s air-conditioning system on a “set it and forget it” basis. But there are concrete steps you can take every summer to lower your cooling costs. Consider these basic steps, which are often overlooked by homeowners:
- Use those ceiling fans Don’t choose between your ceiling fans and your A/C system — use both. Fans create a wind chill effect that will make you more comfortable in your home. In fact, if you cool with an air conditioning system, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort, according to Energy.gov.
- Keep the heat out Your windows can be among the largest contributors to heat gain. A simple solution: close your curtains or drapes to prevent sunlight from heating the air in your home. This keeps it cooler so the a/c doesn’t have to work harder than it should. The less your air conditioner has to work to keep your home cool, the lower your electric bill.
- Get a pro to install a programmable thermostat Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs. The sooner you install one, the sooner you can start saving. Local providers, including Rhoads Energy, can install a programmable thermostat at a reasonable cost.
- Maintain a consistent temperature When the temperature in your home rises, air conditioners have to work harder to bring it down to a comfortable level. Only turn your A/C up 5 to 8 degrees higher when you’re not home or sleeping so your AC system can achieve quick temperature recovery without working in overdrive.