- Manage your thermostat: For customers with central air conditioning, keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level (74 to 76 degrees, or even higher) when at home. Raise the thermostat setting a few degrees for days with extreme heat (90 degrees or higher) to save even more. Lowering the thermostat setting below the desired temperature will not cool your home faster, it will just waste energy and money.
- Check air conditioner size and placement: For those with room air conditioners, ensure that the appliance is sized properly for the room and turn the unit off if someone is not going to be in the room for an extended period of time. Place window air conditioners on the north or shady side of the house to avoid overworking the unit in the hot daytime sun.
- Let the cool air flow: Keep vents clear of carpets, drapery and furniture, and close the vents in rooms that you don’t use very much.
- Use fans to circulate air: For those without any air conditioning, we recommend ceiling fans or portable fans operating with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air into your home. For those with air conditioning, use fans to evenly distribute cool air and reduce the unit’s "on" time.
- Use appliances wisely: To reduce heat and moisture during the warmest part of the day, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or evening hours when it’s generally cooler outside. Also, use a microwave to cook, or barbecue outside, if possible, during the hottest days.
- Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed: About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply drawing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat gain to your home. Window coatings and window film can reflect as much as 80 percent of direct rays from the sun.
- Keep the hot air out: Turn off all unnecessary lighting and appliances, which add heat to the home. Keep doors to the outside, garage or attic firmly closed to keep cool air in and hot air out.
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