7 Ways to Keep Your House Cool This Summer

These hints will help you reduce energy use along with the temperature.

As summer arrives, many people think, “Thank goodness for air conditioning.” That is, until the bill for cranking the A/C arrives.

Fortunately, there are many energy-efficient ways to keep your house cool. Beat the heat with these tips from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers:

  1. Choose an energy-efficient system. If you’re buying a cooling system, choose one that’s ENERGY STAR rated. If you already have A/C, get your system professionally inspected and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep it operating at its best.
  2. Change your filters. Furnace filters should be changed every month or two. Have your air ducts checked for leaks, and make sure vents aren’t blocked by furniture, appliances or other objects. A bit of maintenance can make a big difference.
  3. Insulate your home. Adding attic insulation is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to cool your home. Consider adding insulation to your walls, too, if needed.
  4. Keep the sun out. Close window draperies or shades on the east, south and west windows during the day. Outdoors, consider adding overhangs, awnings, shade screens, bushes and trees, which filter out sunlight.
  5. Open the windows. Weather, allergies and security permitting, turn off the A/C and open windows for cross-ventilation when it’s not as hot, especially at night.
  6. Use the ceiling fan. Keep your house cool with a breeze from your ceiling fans. However, avoid using ventilating fans, like those in kitchens and bathrooms, very often. Running them for just an hour can pull all the cool air out of the house.
  7. Adjust your thermostats. Set thermostats at 76º F or higher during the day, if people are home, and a few degrees higher at night or when you’re away from home. Every degree you dial up can save energy—and money.
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