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Regardless of the temperature outside, every homeowner can benefit from keeping things cool on the inside, whether it’s for comfort or for cost saving purposes.  The largest utility expense will be from cooling the home. Here are a few options to consider when looking for ways to beat the heat:

Air Conditioning: The rooms in your home should all be similar in temperature.  If you notice you have areas that are hotter or colder than others, and the register's regulation of air flow does not resolve it, you may need a professional to balance your duct system.  When purchasing a new air conditioning system, evaluate the size of the room and/or square footage of the home to make sure it has the ability to be energy efficient, based on your needs. If you have an older central air unit, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a newer, more efficient model.  Utilize a programmable thermostat so you can preset temperatures for less usage when no one is home or while you are sleeping.

Regular Maintenance: There are a number of ways to keep your unit in tip-top shape long term. Clean the filter or replace it monthly in the summer (depending on the model and maintenance guidelines from the manufacturer) so dust and dirt won't reduce air flow. In conjuction with your own maintenance routine, have an HVAC professional come in once a year to give your system a full tune up.  They'll assess the unit's current condition and provide recommendations for any additional maintenance and/or repairs.

Heat Build-Up: Supplement air conditioning by using ceiling fans and you will feel cooler.  They don't cool the air, so turn them off along with the lights when you leave the room. Keep the house closed up tight during the day and don’t air condition rooms you don’t use, keeping them closed. Keep the use of heat-generating appliances including the stove, washer and dryer, or dishwasher to a minimum, especially during daylight hours, and consider replacing any that put an extra burden on cooling the house overall.

Windows: Don't throw 30% of your utility dollars out the window! Windows (and doors) should have a good seal and be insulated, or consider replacing them with dual pane, low e glass.  Block the heat with window treatments, particularly those getting direct sun exposure. To further keep heat and light from entering your home, have sunscreens installed on the outside of the windows.  Other strategies to block the sun's rays include an addition of an awning, overhead lattice cover, and having trees shade the home from direct sunlight.

There are many ways to keep things cool on the home front this summer. Just be conscious of all the little things you can do that will add up to some real savings, and then sit back and enjoy the season!


Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.      Proverbs 15:22

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