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How to Stay Cool and Control Energy Costs this Summer

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While last year saw record-breaking temperatures, this summer continues to demonstrate the impacts of climate change. An early-season heat dome made its way across the country, bringing scorching days to the Midwest and the East Coast.


Heat is the leading cause of weather-related fatalities in the United States, so air conditioning can literally be life-saving. But cranking up the AC does come with a cost. However, there are ways to increase your energy efficiency to reduce your electric bill and environmental footprint. Here’s a look at some practices that will allow you to enjoy a safe, comfortable, cool home while saving energy.

Adjust your thermostat

Keep temperatures reasonable, such as setting your thermostat a little lower when you’re home and active, then slightly higher when you’re away or sleeping. Programmable or “smart” thermostats can pay for themselves, automatically adjusting the temperature according to your schedule to reduce any unnecessary cooling.

Insulate your house

Ensure all windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering. Good insulation in attics and walls can significantly reduce the load on your air conditioning system by maintaining indoor temperatures.

Use fans to circulate air

Ceiling fans can help distribute cool air, allowing you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher without sacrificing comfort. They are energy efficient, using about the same amount of electricity as a 100-watt light bulb. Their direction can make a difference so set fans to turn counterclockwise (usually by a switch on the motor) in hotter months to push cooler air down, and clockwise in cooler months to circulate warm air evenly.
Additionally, exhaust fans in areas like kitchens and bathrooms can remove excess heat and humidity.

Maintain your air conditioning system

AC units should be examined annually by a professional to ensure your system is running efficiently. A maintenance check can include cleaning coils, assessing refrigerant levels, and inspecting ducts. It’s also critical to replace your air filters every few months (depending on your climate, your system’s age, if you have pets, and other factors) to maintain airflow and efficiency.

Cover your windows

Keep blinds and curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day to block out heat from the sun. Additionally, installing reflective films on windows can further reduce heat gain.

Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances

If your air conditioning unit is old, making the investment to upgrade to a new HVAC system could reduce your energy costs over time. Look for a unit with a higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This rating describes a unit’s cooling output versus its energy input, representing how much energy and money it will require to operate effectively. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient, reducing your energy consumption.

You can also keep a lookout for Energy Star Products when shopping for a new central air conditioner, refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes dryer, water heater or other household appliance. Look for the Energy Star label, which dictates that the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines, helping to save money while protecting the climate.


Leverage natural ventilation

On cooler nights, turn off the AC and open windows to allow cool air to circulate. Ventilated roof spaces and attic fans can also be useful in removing trapped heat from your home.

Reduce heat generation

Limit activities that produce heat like using ovens and dryers on especially hot days or at least during the warmest times. Incandescent bulbs can also emit heat, so switch to LEDs to reduce both heat production and energy use.

Add trees and awnings to your yard

Planting trees and shrubs around your house can provide natural shade and reduce the heat entering your home. Installing awnings or overhangs on south-facing windows can also help block direct sunlight.

Go solar

Solar and energy efficiency work hand in hand. Powering your home with your own solar production is typically cheaper than using grid electricity. When you lease home solar from PosiGen, you also get a free energy assessment to determine what fixes and upgrades could help you consume less energy. PosiGen’s Energy Efficiency Audits can help save money during the hotter summer months by making simple changes.


Remember, staying cool this summer doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank or harming the planet! By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy a cool, comfortable home without compromising on energy efficiency. Maximize your savings by making sure that everyone in your household understands and practices simple habits, such as turning off lights and electronics when not in use. Not only will these tips help reduce your utility bills but they will also contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change.


Want to learn more about how we can assist you with your home improvement and energy-saving goals? Request an appointment today!


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