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Tips for lowering cooling costs in your home

Mon, Aug 4th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

Continuous cooling during the dog days of summer can take a bite out of your budget. You can reduce air conditioning energy use by 20-50 percent by switching to a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR-qualified air conditioner and taking other actions to lower your home’s cooling costs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offers a home cooling infographic that informs consumers about air conditioning systems and provides the following tips to lower cooling costs:

· Install and set a programmable thermostat—it could help you save 10 percent on cooling and heating costs each year.

· Use fans. A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without impacting comfort.

· Insulate your attic and walls, and seal air leaks to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

· Insulate and seal ducts—air loss through ducts can account for about 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy use.

· On hot days, use a microwave instead of an oven to cook; ovens take longer to cook and can make your house warmer, requiring more of your AC system.

· Install energy-efficient window coverings that let natural light in and prevent solar heat gain.

· Use a bathroom fan when taking a shower or bath and a range hood when cooking; this helps remove heat and humidity from your home.

For a host of home cooling energy-saving tips, check out the DOE’s Energy Saver website. Also, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources offers consumer energy guides that cover many energy-saving suggestions.

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