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Stay Cooler While Saving Energy

 Stay Cooler While Saving Energy

Your home’s energy use can soar with rising temperatures. Here are four ways to take control:

Cover the windows. Half of all of the heat that enters your home during the summer comes in through the windows. Invest in a thick shade or window film to block out the sun. You can save up to 15 percent on your cooling bill by shading west-facing windows. For the hottest parts of your house, consider installing an awning or planting trees in front of windows for shade.

Change filters. A filter for your air conditioning system costs only a few dollars but can save you much more if you change it every month during the summer. Dirty filters prevent airflow and make the HVAC system work harder. That means a higher bill.

Turn the thermostat up. For every degree you turn your thermostat up during air conditioning season, you’ll save 2 percent on cooling costs. Try setting your thermostat at 78 degrees and turn on a ceiling fan to help circulate the air.

Use your ceiling fans. Fans don’t cool the air, but they make the air feel cooler by moving it around the room and against your skin. When the fan is running, you can move your thermostat 3–4 degrees higher without noticing a difference in your comfort level.