Staying cool

  • Set the fan on your central air conditioner to "on" rather than "auto." This will circulate air continuously so that temperatures stay more even throughout the house. It also helps reduce humidity in the air, so you feel cooler.
  • No one wants to use an oven in the summer, but other appliances also generate heat. Do your laundry, cooking and baking in the morning or at night if possible.
  • Incandescent bulbs produce heat. Keep unnecessary lights turned off, and remind your family to do the same! Even better, switch your bulbs to LEDs.
  • Tour your house and check that all your HVAC registers are clear and uncovered. You want the cool air from your air conditioner to flow unobstructed.
  • Switch your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise. This creates a wind-chill effect, so that you feel cooler. Remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room!

Saving money

  • Got a spare fridge in the garage? Move it inside where it won’t have to work as hard to keep food cool.
  • Raise the thermostat to 78 to 80 degrees whenever you go to bed or leave the house. A programmable or learning thermostat will do this for you automatically.
  • Pull the shades or close the blinds before you leave for work in the morning. This keeps the sun from bringing even more heat into your house throughout the day.
  • Make sure your window air conditioner is the proper size. It's better to get one that's too small than too large - a larger unit will start up and turn off more frequently and won't do as good a job dehumidifying the air.