With the hot humid temperatures during the long daylight hours as kids are out of school, it may seem difficult to keep your cool at home this summer – literally and figuratively. Yet in the literal sense, keeping your cool indoors could really pay off by keeping more green in your wallet. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you do that.
Seal! Insulate! Equip! The keys to maximize your efficiency! Start with sealing the air leaks up in the attic (that includes any ducts located in the attic). From there, ensure your home is properly insulated to help maintain your home’s temperature. Attic insulation less than a R-19 (typically less than 6 inches of the fluffy stuff) can benefit from adding more insulation. Empty walls should be filled. Finally, if your house is properly sealed and insulated, you may need to update your HVAC system. You can receive a Power Moves® rebate on a qualifying energy efficient system. You may even find that a smaller, right-sized system will control indoor humidity to help keep you more comfortable.
Properly Use Your Doors – and Windows and Curtains! You can benefit from turning off the A/C and opening windows in the evenings and night to let the breeze cool your home. Open doors inside your home to get air circulating when windows are open or the air conditioner is on. During the day, close your curtains to keep the sun from heating up the house.
Program Your Thermostat. Schedule Wi-Fi and programmable thermostats so they cool only when you are at home. Or, set your thermostat a few degrees higher when not at home. Wi-Fi thermostats can learn how your cooling system is used to improve energy efficiency and save you money. Be sure to use vacation mode to minimize your costs while you’re away.
Ensure Air Conditioner Efficiency. Schedule an air conditioner cleaning and tune up with a local HVAC contractor to review of your system to ensure that it is running properly. Check your air filter monthly and replace it if it’s dirty to allow proper airflow and to prevent your system from working harder than needed.
By taking these steps, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency during the sweltering summer months. Contact your local electric co-op’s energy advisor for more energy saving tips and advice, or visit