The calendar may not say so yet, but, here in southwest Missouri, summer has arrived! It's HOT! And it's supposed stay hot...at least for the foreseeable future.
In many areas keeping cool in summer can cost more than keeping warm in winter. Here are some things that you can do to hold the cooling costs down:
1) - Watch your degree of comfort. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or above. A setting of 78 instead of 73 saves 20 to 25% of your AC operating costs.
2) - Keep the cool air inside. Close doors and windows. Check the weather-stripping. Seal up cracks. Insulate. These measures will help cut heating costs in the winter as well.
3) - Don't block vents. Move furniture away from vents and window units. Trim shrubbery outside, too.
4) - Close drapes or blinds. This helps keep the sun's heat out. Solar screens and shades can also effectively block a large amount of the sun's heat before it enters your home.
5) - Check your filters. Do this once a month during cooling season. Vacuum or replace them as necessary.
6) - Grow deciduous trees. Plant them where they will shade your house from the sun's hottest rays in the summer and let warming sun through in the winter.
7) - Check the EER before you buy. Some systems use less energy than others...sometimes only half as much. Find the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) on the yellow energy-guide label. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit. An EER of 10 will consume half the energy of a similar unit rated at 5.
(These tips were taken from Emilie Barnes' 15-Minute Home and Family Organizer.)