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6 Energy Efficient Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

The summer time heat can be a drag, especially when it comes to your energy bills, but who wants to sacrifice running that precious air conditioner? Luckily, there are plenty of simple little short cuts to help conserve energy, save money and keep your home cool all summer long. Here are 6 ways to get the ball rolling:

Windows and Shade
It’s the simple things that make a big impact on scorching days. If you have east and west windows in your home, make sure they have adequate shade, as they will absorb most of the sun’s hot rays. Keep all windows tightly closed during the day to avoid letting in humidity and open at night for natural ventilation. When adding shade to your windows, opt for white shades or mini-blinds to reduce heat intake.Want to stop the heat from reaching your windows in the first place? Cover the outside of each window that gets direct sunlight with screens or bamboo shades.

Work While it’s Cool
Save heat-generating activities, such as running the dishwasher, for the evening time when it’s cooler out or air dry dishes when possible. To save on your energy bill, keep your thermostat between 72-78 degrees and utilize ceiling fans to create a more comfortable environment and circulate airflow. Never run a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time. This will cause the AC to work much harder because the dehumidifier will amp up the cooling.

Exotic Infills
Check out a new window technology called exotic infills, which has lower conductivity than air. This fills the space between windowpanes with krypton or argon. Make sure to seal air conditioner ducts and add insulation to ducts that run through basements, crawl spaces and attics.

Take Care of the AC
Keep your air conditioning unit well maintained by cleaning the filter once a month. Turn it off when you leave the house and if possible, try to provide shade for the outside half of your AC unit. If shopping for a new air conditioner unit, look for high-efficiency. Room air conditioners should have an energy efficiency rating above 10 while central AC should have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio rating above 12.

Choose Some Greenery
Add shade around your entire home by planting shade trees. This is especially crucial if you live in a hot and humid area. If you rely on solar heating during the cold winter months, avoid planting trees to the south. Also, try to plant a tree by your outside portion of the air conditioning unit to keep it cooler. Vines are great for providing vital shade for windows or the  sides of a house and can be guided easily by using a trellis.

Give Your Electronics a Break
Turn off computers when not in use and plug electronics such as televisions into a power strip, that way, you can easily turn everything off at once. Lower the thermostat on your water heater and take showers instead of baths to save on hot water usage. Fluorescent light bulbs us a fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs- so consider making the big switch!

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