Cooling

Beat the summer heat and keep energy costs down

Thermostat

Set your thermostat at 78°
The higher you set the thermostat, the less your cooling system will operate unnecessarily.

Use a programmable or smart thermostat and run your air conditioner when you're home. Program your thermostat so the air conditioning comes on no earlier than 30 minutes before you're scheduled to arrive home.

Don't place lamps or televisions near your air conditioning thermostat.  

Replace filters often
Keep air conditioner filters clean. They should be cleaned or replaced once a month during the season. If you can do so safely, clean the exposed grill and spines of the outside unit.

Avoid using heat-producing appliances
If you're home during the day, try to reduce the use of the oven, range, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer.

Use fans
Use portable, ceiling and whole house fans to keep cool. They use much less electricity than central air conditioning. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room.

Also run exhaust fans when you shower or cook to vent warm, moist air. 

Consider insulation and duct sealing
Make sure your home has the appropriate amount of insulation in walls, attics and crawl spaces. Insulation is just as important in the summer as it is during the winter since it helps keep warm air outside.

Also seal and insulate air-conditioning ducts that run through unconditioned spaces.

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Plant trees
Plant deciduous trees facing southwest and southeast for summer shade and winter sun.

Get regular tune-ups
Have your cooling system professionally inspected and tuned-up. Professional inspections and tune-ups of heating and central air conditioning systems can help save on operating costs and extend the equipment's life. A check-up is recommended every year for heat pumps and every five years for other systems.

Consider evaporative cooling
Evaporative cooling systems are more efficient than central air conditioning, especially in arid climates. Today's systems have efficient, quiet motors, adjustable automatic thermostat controls and cooling pads that filter out pollen and dust.

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More energy-saving tips: