During summer, the best way to keep you and your home cool is to keep the heat out. Of course the air conditioner is a great way to do this but as soon as the temperature rises, so does the cost of cooling your home. Here are some tips on keeping your home cooler and avoiding high air conditioning costs this summer.

  1. Set the thermostat – Set the thermostat to 70-75 when your home, 80 when you’re not. Don’t turn the air off completely when you leave the house because it can cost more to cool the house back down once it overheats.
  2. Create a breeze – If you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, a ceiling fan can be a great investment for your home. This one appliance can make a room feel 6 or 7 degrees cooler. Good fans make it possible for you to raise your thermostat setting and save on air-conditioning costs. Ceiling fans are best, but a good portable fan can also be very effective.
  3. Shades, drapes or blinds – Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun (east-facing windows in the morning and west-facing windows in the afternoon) to keep the sun’s heat out and help fans or air conditioners cool more efficiently.
  4. Internal heat – The most common sources of internal heat are appliances, electronic devices and lighting. Don’t put lamps, televisions or other heat-generating appliances next to your air-conditioning thermostat, because the heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer. The heat they produce will make it think that your house is warmer than it really is, and your system will run harder than it needs to.
  5. Outdoor AC unit – The outdoor unit must be clear of any leaves, dust or debris. If you can, keep the outdoor unit in the shade, this will increase its efficiency by 5 to 10%. If you’ve had the same air conditioner for more than 10 years, consider replacing it. Older air conditioners use 30 to 70% more electricity than energy efficient models. They can also corrode or rust. When that happens, harmful refrigerants like Freon can enter the environment.

Now that you understand how to keep the heat out and save money while you are at it, you are on your way to actually enjoying one hot summer.