How to Keep Your House Cool This Summer for Less

The typical U.S. household spends almost 20 percent of its utility budget on cooling costs.

That’s according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which offers tips for homeowners who want to beat the heat and save money this summer.

• Program your thermostat to accommodate your family’s summer schedule. Set the thermostat a few degrees higher when no one is home, so your cooling system doesn’t chill an empty house.

• Use ceiling fans to create a breeze. Remember that ceiling fans cool people, not spaces, so always turn off the fan when you leave the room.

• Close curtains and shades before you leave your home, so the sun’s rays won’t overheat the interior.

• Move container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to create more shade.

• Use energy-efficient lighting (e.g., fluorescent lights) instead of incandescent light bulbs. Energy-efficient lighting produces about 75 percent less heat than incandescent lighting does.

• Have your cooling system serviced annually to make sure it runs at optimum efficiency.

• Check your cooling system’s air filter every month. If the filter looks dirty, change it. If it doesn’t look dirty, go ahead and change it every three months anyway.

• Make sure your air ducts are sealed. As much as 20 percent of the air that moves through a home’s duct system is lost due to leaks and poor connections.

• Be sure to check duct connections at vents and registers, which are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork. - How to Keep Your House Cool This Summer for Less