Some of folks are sweating it out in the gym, trying to get in shape for that trip to the beach. As the weather is getting warmer, it is also a good time to get your house in shape for the summer cooling season.
There are exercises you can do to conserve energy and improve the efficiency of your home air conditioning. By following this exercise program, your house will be in better shape to handle those hot, humid days without putting an extra burden on your energy bill.
Set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer. 76 is good, 78 is better. Consider installing a programable thermostat. This is a great way to match the cooling needs of your home to your personal schedule. They typically offer savings of 10%–15% without compromising personal comfort.
Replace filters on your air conditioner. For homes with central air, it is important to change the filter before the start of the cooling season and on a monthly basis thereafter. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer and work harder, increasing energy use. Dirty air filters can cause your air conditioner to make ice instead of cool air.
Plug air leaks in your home. Weather strip and caulk any leaky doors and windows. Use storm windows and doors.
Add insulation in attics. This will not only help to conserve energy, but will improve household comfort.
Use green leafy sunscreen. Leafy trees and shrubs placed on the south and west side of your home can provide shade during the peak daytime heat. You can also reduce heat buildup by keeping window blinds and curtains closed on windows facing the sun. Awnings and solar screens can help too.
Replace old air conditioners with new models that have higher energy efficiency. Energy Star rated air conditioners cost more, but can pay for themselves by lower energy use over the lifetime of the equipment.