Keep Your Cool

During warm weather, you’ll stay much cooler at a far lower cost if you make sure your air conditioning is operating efficiently. Follow these simple tips.

  • Replace the filters in your central air conditioning system or window units at least once a month (or more if necessary, depending on the amount of pet hair, dust and lint in your home).
  • Keep the outside part of your air conditioning unit clean and free of debris.
  • Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy calculates that for every degree you raise the setting, you’ll save three percent on the cost of running the air conditioner.
  • If you’ll be away from home all day, raise the temperature on the thermostat by up to five degrees so that you don’t pay to cool an empty house. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise the temperature at night when it’s not as warm and during the workday when you’re not at home.
  • Don’t put lamps or TV sets near the thermostat. It will sense the heat from them and cause the air conditioner to run more than it needs to.
  • Close draperies on the sunny side of the house during the day. Leave storm windows and doors in place all summer.
  • Close the vents in spare bedrooms and other rooms that you do not use. There’s no point in cooling areas that don’t need it.
  • On hot days, avoid using appliances that create heat and humidity, such as dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers.