HVAC Tips

Tips to Save on Cooling this Summer

1. Quit cooling the neighborhood

If your home isn’t brand new, the cold air inside it is probably seeping out into the neighborhood through worn door and window seals, a poorly insulated attic and other sneaky cracks.

To see how well your home is holding in the cold, sign up for a home energy audit with your utility provider or a local contractor. A certified home energy rater or auditor will check your home for leaks and recommend the best way to make your home more energy efficient.

Don’t want to spring for an audit? Do a mini-audit yourself. Stand outside your home and run your hand along windows and doors. Can you feel the cold air escaping? If you do, caulk around leaky windows and add insulation around doors.

2. Make sure your thermostat is on the right wall

Thermostat placement can play a big part in how well your air conditioner works. If you put it on a wall right next to a hot window, for instance, your air conditioner will kick on much more often than it needs to because it will think the room is hotter than it actually is. Here’s how to pick the perfect wall for your thermostat.

3. Close the blinds

A window letting in the hot sun won’t just heat up your thermostat, it’ll heat you up too. During the warmest part of the day, close your window blinds. Closing the blinds keeps out the sun. It can also help insulate your windows, which stops the cold air from escaping.

4. Use a fan

Sometimes you don’t need to amp up the thermostat to feel cooler. According to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), using a ceiling fan can make a room feel 10 degrees cooler and uses 10 percent of the energy of a central air conditioner.

If you want to get high-tech, you can install smart ceiling fans that connect to an app. You can schedule the times when these fans turn on and off, and you can control their speed without standing on your tiptoes.

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Why should you use a Smart thermostat

What Is a Smart Thermostat, Anyway?

Regular thermostats let you adjust the temperature in your homeā€”it’s just a control panel for your heating and air conditioning system. Programmable thermostats let you set the temperature and have the thermostat change it based on the time of day. What makes most smart thermostats so “smart” is that they learn from your behaviors, allow you to control the climate in your home remotely, show you energy consumption in real-time, and can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity.

For example, you can tell them to shut off after you leave the house for work, and then spring back into action in just enough time to make the house nice and toasty (or cool and comfortable, depending on the season) by the time you to get home. Most smart thermostats show you how long it takes to make the change you’ve requested, so you can see how effective your climate control system really is, and it discourages people from turning a thermostat all the way down to try “cooling off the house faster” (which never works). Plus, you can manage many smart thermostats from your phone or a webapp. From the remote interface, you can always see how much you’re spending on heating or cooling costs, tweak the programming to you save money, and see the results immediately.

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