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With cities across the country seeing record-high temperatures, everyone is looking for ways to keep cool and how to save energy on their air conditioning bills. This guide will give you 12 ways of keeping cool and saving energy. Some of these tips don’t even cost anything to do and can save you dollars during the current heat wave.

1. BLOCK THE SUN

The bright sun coming in from your windows raises the temperature of your home. And if you have air conditioning, it makes your A/C work even harder. There are many ways that you can block out the sun coming in from your window. You can close your existing shades, blinds or drapes and add heavy blackout shades. You can even plant trees to block direct sunlight. If you’re not able to completely block of direct sunlight, you can still keep your home cooler even if you just partially do it. Blocking sunlight is especially important for windows, which face West or South.

2. AVOID HEAT SOURCES

Turn off or avoid heat sources. Anything that adds heat to your home makes it warmer and cost you more to run your A/C. There are a number of appliances in your home, which give off heat even when they’re turned off. Examples of these are Plasma TVs, computers and the likes. When you add of these together, they add up to the heat. So you would want to unplug many of these when they are not in use and are just on standby. Other sources of heat you want to avoid are appliances like ovens, stoves, washers, dryers and even lighting.

3. AIR CONDITIONER MAINTENANCE

Properly maintain your air conditioner system. When facing record temperature running at full capacity, you will want to be sure that it’s operating as efficiently as possible. So you will want to change your A/C filter every month and consider having a service professional come in an inspect and adjust your system to ensure that the refrigerant is fully charged, motors and compressors are operating properly and distribution ducts are well balanced.

4. INSTALL A SOLAR ATTIC VENT

 A solar attic vent fan cools your attic and therefore reduces the cooling load of your A/C system.

5. INSTALL CEILING FANS

Ceiling fans provide a windshield effect on your body so it makes you feel cooler and therefore allow you to raise your thermostat while you still feel comfortable. Running a ceiling fan a whole day only cost about $10 a month in electricity and you can save much more of this by running your A/C system less using a higher thermostats setting. And remember, if no one is in the room, you should turn off the ceiling fan.

6. CLOSE VENTS IN UNUSED ROOMS

If you have rooms that you’re not using, you should close both the distribution and supply registers of your air conditioner in these rooms, this way your central A/C system is just working to cool the rooms which you actually need cooling.

7. AC DOWN WHEN GONE

Turn down your A/C when leaving. When leaving your home, turn your thermostat up so that your A/C doesn’t have to run as hard while your gone. Contrary to some popular belief, you save more energy by not running your system and cooling your house back down when you get back home than if you would run it the entire time. Programmable thermostat can make it convenient to adjust this temperature automatically.

8. OPEN BATHROOM WINDOW

Open the bathroom window when using your shower fan. After you take a shower or bath, your bathroom will have a high humidity levels and you would want to run the shower fans to clear this humidity to reduce the growth of mold, rot and the like. But rather than the air in your bathroom being replaced by air conditioned air in your home while your fan is running, it’s better to open a bathroom window and close your bathroom door even though the outside air being drawn in is warm, it’s still better to clear out the humidity in your using this outside air than it is to use expensive air conditioned air from your home.

 9. CFL LIGHTBULBS

Change incandescent light bulbs for CFL light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy and produce 75% less heat than incandescent light bulbs and therefore changing to these light bulbs not only save you electricity for lighting, it also reduces your A/C bill by not adding more heat at home.

10. FIREPLACE DAMPER

 Close and block your fireplace damper. If you have a fireplace, you would want to be sure that damper is tightly sealed to keep air from flowing up and down your chimney.

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