Depending on where you live, summer’s energy bills can be as brutal as the temperature outdoors. Here are some simple things you can do to reduce your cooling costs:
•Install a programmable thermostat. Setting higher temperatures for the hours when you’re not home can dramatically cut your costs. Set properly, a programmable thermostat can save you about $150 per year.
•Close any gaps or leaks. Don’t lose cold air to leaky ducts or gaps around your window frames. Caulk outside around windows and use weather stripping indoors to seal in the cold air. Close your shades and drapes. Keeping the sun out can reduce the temperature inside your home by several degrees.
•Ceiling fans are also a big help, but remember, fans cool people, not rooms! Don’t waste energy running them if you’re not in the room.
•Regularly clean your filter. This helps your unit perform optimally, which saves you money.
•Did you know that raising the temperature on your thermostat by just 1 or 2 degrees can make a big impact on your cooling bills? You’ll save 5–7% on cooling costs for every degree above 72ºF that you set your thermostat
The ENERGY STAR program is managed jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was launched in 1991 to promote efficient lighting in commercial buildings. The program has become a leading source of consumer information about wise energy use.
Products earn the blue ENERGY STAR label by meeting strict criteria for energy efficiency. Room air conditioners bearing the ENERGY STAR label use about 10% less energy than other units, which helps you save money.
To determine how much energy a particular model will use and how much it will cost to operate, read the yellow label affixed to the unit. This can help you understand the total cost of owning a particular air conditioner.