Staying Cool While Using Less Energy…

caulking windowIn the Los Angeles area, where the summers are hot and the cost of living high, even small reductions in your cooling costs are worth it. By learning how to save energy at home during the summer, you can cut your bills and still stay comfortable.

Keep Out the Heat

Preventing heat and humidity from entering your home in the first place goes a long way toward reducing your air conditioner’s work load. Start by checking that the weatherstripping and caulk around your windows and doors are in good condition. If they’re deteriorating or missing, replace them. Also make sure your attic has at least an R30 level of insulation.

Because most heat comes in through your windows, hang heavy curtains or install dual shades with a sun-reflecting side and keep them closed during the hottest parts of the day. Consider installing awnings. These can cut heat gain by nearly 80 percent on west-facing windows and more than 60 percent on windows that face south.

Run Your A/C Right

It takes less energy to cool down a warm house than it does to keep your home cool all day. When you’re out or home in bed, set your thermostat above 80 degrees.

Replace the air filters on schedule, which is usually once a month for lower-efficiency filters. Clogged filters force your A/C’s motor to work harder, reducing the system’s efficiency. Check the evaporator coil for dust and, if necessary, use a foaming coil cleaner to clean it.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Run your ceiling fans along with your air conditioning. A ceiling fan can make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler, so you can raise the temperature on your A/C thermostat to save energy without impairing your comfort. Every degree you raise the thermostat above 75 degrees for 8 hours or longer can cut your cooling costs by around 3 percent.

In addition to learning how to save energy at home during the summer, schedule professional maintenance for your air conditioner every year. A well-maintained A/C is runs more efficiently.