Countdown to COOOOOL

5 steps to beating summer heat

Posted on Jun 23 2019 in Heartland REMC
Energy Advisor

Warmer air means air conditioners are running more frequently and families are faced with higher electricity use. With a few simple steps, such as seasonal maintenance of properly sized and installed energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, along with properly sealed ducts, you can save as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs. Following the recommendations in ENERGY STAR®’s Five-Step Countdown will not only save money on energy bills this summer, but it will also make you more comfortable in your home. 

5) Find and seal air leaks that cause drafts and make your cooling system work overtime. Use ENERGY STAR’s “Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sealing your Home” to improve your home’s “envelope” or “shell” — its outer walls, ceiling, windows, and floors. This guide can be found on and can help you seal air leaks in your home yourself, as sealing is often the most cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. The guide includes information on sealing air leaks to stop drafts, adding insulation, and choosing ENERGY STAR-qualified windows when replacing windows. Home sealing can help you save up to 10 percent on your energy bills each year. If your attic is accessible and you like home improvement projects, you can do it yourself with help from the “DIY Guide to ENERGY STAR Home Sealing.” The guide offers step-by-step instructions for sealing common air leaks and adding insulation to the attic. You can find both guides online at You can also hire a contractor who will use special diagnostic tools to pinpoint and seal the hidden air leaks in your home.

4) Look for the blue ENERGY STAR logo when purchasing cooling products for your home. Products such as room air conditioners and programmable thermostats that display the ENERGY STAR label operate more efficiently, which saves energy. You can find the ENERGY STAR logo on products in more than 50 product categories, including lighting, consumer electronics and appliances. When you choose ENERGY STAR, you get a product that meets strict energy-efficiency criteria set by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

3) Schedule annual, pre-season maintenance checkups with a licensed contractor to ensure your cooling system is operating efficiently and safely. Dirt and neglect are the leading causes of system failure. Get a cooling system checkup, and afterward be sure to clean or change your system’s air filter according to the filter’s instructions — generally once a month. Keep it clean to keep it efficient.

If your cooling system is more than 12 years old and needs replacing, consider an energy-efficient model. It’s important to purchase the correct size cooling system for your home and have it installed properly so your new investment delivers its full energy-performance promise. Properly sized and installed regularly maintained energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, along with properly sealed ducts, can save homeowners as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs. You can find more information at

2) Install a programmable thermostat and use your ceiling fans wisely. Save energy by taking advantage of periods in the day when your home doesn’t need to be kept as cool. ENERGY STAR-qualified ceiling fans can also cut home energy use — turn the thermostat up several degrees while using the fans to deliver the extra cooling comfort. Remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room. A ceiling fan cools you — not the room.

1)Learn what else you can do to make your home more energy-efficient by visiting Your local co-op offers many programs and rebates that can keep you cool, save you money, and make you more comfortable. You can even schedule an energy audit with me, your energy advisor, Garrett Keiser. I may ask you some simple questions or take a tour of your home to help detect places you can save energy and money.

For information on moneysaving efficiency rebates and tips, please visit today.