Energy Saving Cooling Tips

No Cost:

  • Check the settings on the room air conditioner. Make sure the "fresh air" vent on the air conditioner is closed so you are not cooling outside air.
  • Close drapes, blinds and shades to keep sun's rays out of the home during the warmer months, particularly for south-facing windows.
  • Move the room air conditioner. If possible, put the air conditioner in a north-facing or shaded window; direct sunlight reduces efficiency. Remove and store the air conditioner during the winter rather than keeping it in the window.
  • On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
  • Open windows at night. If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
  • Turn off fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).

Low Cost:

  • Remove and clean room air conditioner filters monthly. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner.
  • Seal any holes with caulk or spray foam where TV/cable wires, pipes, bathroom plumbing, ductwork, or vents enter or exit your home.
  • Use ceiling fans or other circulating fans, (such as table and floor fans) to improve your comfort level and reduce air conditioning costs.

Good Investment:

  • Caulk and weather-strip around windows and door frames that leak air. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified models designed for your area, and save $20–$95 each year in energy costs.
  • Consider installing a whole house fan. An attic whole house fan draws cooler air into the home and forces hot air out through attic vents. Use it when the air is cool outside, such as in the early morning. Whole house fans typically use about one-third of the electricity of a central air conditioner.
  • Consider installing a whole-house evaporative cooler if you live in a dry climate. An evaporative cooler uses as much as 75% less electricity as an air conditioner, saving approximately $150 a year. For hotter desert climates, the savings can be much more.
  • Consider planting trees and shrubs in strategic locations to help reduce the temperature and airflow in your house. Deciduous trees planted on the west and south sides of your home help to keep the house shaded during the season's peak heating times.
  • If your old central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR model, which uses 20% less energy than a standard new model. Look for a SEER rating of at least 12.
  • If your room air conditioner unit is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR room air conditioner, which uses at least 10% less energy than a standard new model. Select the unit with the highest Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for greater savings. Ask a trained salesperson for help choosing the size that's right for your needs.
  • Install a door sweep on the door to your garage to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold. This prevents warm air from coming in and cool air from escaping your home.
  • Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat away from natural cool and hot spots. An ENERGY STAR thermostat can save as much as $115 per year, provide more flexibility than standard models and perform one or more of the following functions: Save and repeat multiple daily settings, which you can change when needed without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program; store four or more temperature settings a day; and adjust heating or air conditioning turn-on times as the outside temperature changes.
  • Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows. Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain.
  • Look for a room air conditioner with a filter that slides out easily for regular cleaning. Clean filters help keep the unit in good working condition.
  • When buying an air conditioner, enlist the services of a qualified technician to ensure your unit is properly sized and installed for your home/building. A unit that is too large will not only cost you more up front, but will actually work less efficiently, costing you more to operate over its lifetime.
*Information above was provided by
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