General guidelines for keeping your home cool and efficient:
- Have a qualified HVAC professional inspect your home’s ducts and cooling equipment. Clean or replace your AC filters every month.
- Clean chimney and check to see if your fireplace is working properly.
- Clean out rain gutters and storm drains.
- Clean and vacuum vents, baseboard heaters and ducts.
- Seal air leaks in the attic, basement and crawlspace, and also around windows and doors.
- Check your attic for proper insulation. (The U.S. Department of Energy suggests a value between R-22 and R-49.)
- Keep shades or curtains drawn on the sunny side of the house, especially during early- and mid-afternoon hours.
Extra steps you can take to save energy:
- Install a programmable thermostat, so you can preset temperatures for different times of the day.
- Replace single-pane windows with newer double-pane models, which help reflect the sun’s rays and reduce energy loss.
- Apply a reflective coating to your roof. When replacing your roof, use light-colored shingles.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents to create a cooler feeling and save lighting costs.
- Install awnings or plant trees outside your home to create shade.