Energy-Efficient Ways to Lower Cooling Costs and Stay Comfortable

It’s bound to be another hot, dry summer in northern Colorado. How do you plan to keep your cooling costs down? You could shut off the air conditioner altogether, but what about staying comfortable? The following energy efficiency tips will help lower cooling costs without sacrificing comfort.

  • Program your thermostat for savings. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? Now’s the time to get one and program setback periods while you’re at work all day and sleeping at night. This tactic saves you up to 10 percent on your cooling costs.
  • Run the fan. You save about 1 percent for every degree you turn up the thermostat. To prevent feeling uncomfortable, turn on the ceiling fan to create a cooling wind chill effect. For maximum energy savings, turn off the fan when you leave the room since the wind chill cools people without actually lowering the room’s temperature.
  • Add insulation. The attic is the first place to check for adequate insulation. If you can see the floor rafters, look into having another layer added. Then, find out if ducts traveling through unconditioned spaces are sealed and insulated. If not, air leaks and heat transfer through the metal ducts could cause your cooling bills to go up 30 percent.
  • Don’t let heat build up inside. Interior heat gain makes your air conditioner work harder. Avoid using heat-generating appliances during the day. Cook in the microwave and on an outdoor grill whenever possible. Also, draw heat and humidity from showering and cooking outside by running the exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen at the appropriate times.
  • Cover the windows. Solar heat gain is a major reason your home heats up in the summer. Shade the windows with awnings, shutters, curtains, blinds and even strategic landscaping — anything to keep the sun from shining directly inside.
  • Invest in a high-efficiency air conditioner. Is this the summer to replace your air conditioner? If so, only consider models with the Energy Star label. This indicates performance up to 15 percent higher than standard models.

For more tips to lower cooling costs, please contact Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning in Fort Collins.

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