PhotoSummer is just around the corner, but no need to sweat it. There are many ways to keep your home cool and comfortable, even when it’s anything but outside.

By ensuring cool air stays inside where you want it, you’ll save money. In addition to seeking out an Energy Star qualified air conditioner, you can adhere to these summer cooling tips from the NRDC, some of which will cost you absolutely nothing.

Programmable thermostats

Because you can set them to be warmer when you’re away and cooler when you get home, programmable thermostats can help you save. With the right settings, your thermostat can help you save up to $180 in energy costs each year.

Turn up the thermostat when you’re not home. The NRDC cites the second law of thermodynamics in explaining why this is the cheapest way to use your air conditioner. Heat will always flow from a hotter environment to a cooler environment until it reaches a state of equilibrium, and the science is the same in your home. If there’s a big difference in temperature inside versus outside, there will be greater heat flow.

So, attempting to combat a balmy, 90-degree day by setting your thermostat to 65 won’t work very efficiently; it just means that more warm air will want to creep into your house, making your AC work extra hard to replenish the cool air. Set thermostats to a temperature closer to the outdoor temperature to reduce heat flow from the outside.

Seal up your house

In the summer, keeping cool air in is just as important as keeping warm air out. You can reduce the risk of having valuable cool air seep out by sealing up windows, doors, and other parts of your home. To determine where you’re losing the most energy, have your utility company or a local contractor perform a home energy audit. After that, you’ll know exactly what leaks to seal or where insulation or weather-stripping could be beneficial.

Window coverings can also be helpful when it comes to keeping your house all buttoned up. By keeping curtains and blinds closed during the day, your home’s interior can remain better protected from the blazing summer sun.

Use a ceiling fan

This is an easy one, but it works. Ceiling fans can make a room feel up to ten degrees cooler. The NRDC suggests making sure your fan is set in the forward (counterclockwise) direction so that it will pull up cooler air from the ground.


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