Casteel’s Favorite Summer Cooling Tips for Atlanta Area
- If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, buy one. The savings tally to nearly $200.00 a year. This way, when you are out of the house, on vacation or sleeping, you can set your ‘stat to “Save.”
- Search your house for leaky ducts. The majority of homes lose between 20% to 30% of their cooling energy through leaky ducts.
- Seal off any ducts to unconditioned areas, and insulate rooms like the garage, attic or cellar. (Families with larger homes and empty nesters consider not cooling the wing of the house no one ever goes into.)
- It may be time for an AC upgrade. Get a qualified professional to inspect your system. Look for models that have the EPA’s Energy Star and replace filters at least every three months.
- Turn off all appliances and lights when not in use. Coffee makers and toaster ovens don’t need to be plugged in all day.
- Turn off lights when not in use. Switch incandescent bulbs to cooler compact fluorescent ones
- Make sure your fan is spinning clockwise. This will create a wind-chill effect. Turn your ceiling fan off when you exit the room. Fans cool people not rooms.
- Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
- Regular maintenance will insure that your air conditioner operates efficiently throughout the summer. Check the filter once a month by holding it up to a bright light. If you can't see through it, it's time to clean or replace the filter. You can also check your owner's guide to find out how to safely clean the condenser coils and fins on the outside of the unit.
- Depending on the size of your home, you can save 3% on your cooling costs for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer. Raising the thermostat from 73 to 78 degrees can mean savings of up to 15% in cooling costs.
- To stay most comfortable during the hottest hours of the day, do your cooking, laundry and bathing in the early morning or late evenings. These activities all increase the level of humidity in your home, making it less comfortable and forcing the air conditioner to work even harder. If other heat generating appliances, such as irons, ovens and blow dryers are used only in the early morning or late evening, your home will stay cooler.
- Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside. When using the stove, vent cooking heat outside with a range hood.
- If you need to replace equipment, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. ENERGY STAR models are 14.5 SEER or more.
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