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    Stay Cool Efficiently

    By Erin Cassidy, AccuWeather staff writer
    July 29, 2014, 6:26:50 AM EDT

    In the dog days of summer, the chill of an air conditioned room is a welcome respite from the heat. But cranking up the AC can increase your home energy use…and your energy bills. Two-thirds of U.S. homes have air conditioners and homeowners collectively spend 11 billion dollars each year to power them!

    Whether you want quick fixes to help you save money while staying cool, or ideas for home improvements that increase cooling efficiency long-term, Energy Saver has advice for you.

    Quick fixes:

    - Regularly clean and replace the filters on your cooling unit. According to Energy Savers, this is the quickest way to save energy on home cooling. Dirty filters restrict airflow, decrease efficiency and reduce the unit’s ability to cool the air. - Turn on the ceiling fan. Circulating air in your home with a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat by up to 4 degrees without sacrificing your comfort. - Ventilate. Use the bathroom fan when showering or bathing, and use the range hood/fan when cooking. These help remove heat and humidity from your home.

    Home improvements:

    - Look for the ENERGY STAR. If you’re in the market for a new AC unit, look for ENERGY STAR qualified models – they’re up to 15 percent more efficient than standard models. - Insulate and seal. Insulate your attic and walls, and seal cracks and openings to keep hot air out of your home. Insulate and seal ducts to minimize air loss. - Install and set a programmable thermostat to save up to 10 percent per year on cooling costs.

    Find more tips and tricks, and learn everything you need to know about home cooling in this Energy Saver infographic.


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