7 Tips for Keeping Cool
- Insulate your home as much as you can. That makes a big difference, whether for heating or cooling.
- Set your air-conditioning thermostat at the highest temperature setting at which you’re comfortable. Cooling costs can be reduced by about five percent for every two degrees higher you set your unit. Keep heat-producing items like televisions and lamps away from thermostats.
- Light bulbs produce heat. Keep them off during the day as much as you can. Drapes, blinds and shades should be closed during the hottest hours.
- Humidity is a factor. Take baths and wash dishes early in the morning or in the evening instead of during the day. Use an outside clothesline to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest months.
- If you have a powered roof ventilator, turn it off. Experts have learned there are more negative effects than positive benefits of their use. In the warm months, it draws cooled air from inside your home into the hot attic and can cause humidity to be drawn into the home.
- Use an air-conditioner with an efficiency rating of 13 or higher. Window units are rated by their Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), while central systems use a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Use the proper size because bigger is not always better.
- Maintain cooling systems properly. Clean or replace filters regularly. Window units generally have filters behind the front panel, and they need to be cleaned with soap and water. Use a brush to clean the coils on outside heat exchangers.