Home Cooling

  • Whole-house fans can be installed in the attic or ceiling to pull fresh air through the house – usually at night when it’s cooler. Although a whole-house fan does not eliminate the need for air conditioning, it can minimize air conditioning use.
  • The location of an air conditioner has a lot to do with how efficient it will be. If you have a choice, locate your unit on the north, east or the best-shaded side of your home. If the unit is exposed to direct sunlight, it has to work much harder and use more energy to cool your home. Keep shrubbery away from the air conditioner since it blocks vents and reduces the unit’s ability to exhaust air.
  • If you have ceiling fans, run the fans and the air conditioner at the same time, but set the air conditioner a few degrees higher, to 80 or 81 degrees. With a breeze from the fans, you should feel as cool as you would at 78 degrees with no fans.
  • Make sure your air conditioner is the proper size for the area you are cooling. The wrong size air conditioner will use more electricity and increase your energy bills. A unit that is too large for a given area will cool the area too quickly, causing the air conditioner to frequently turn itself on and off. If a unit shuts off quickly, chances are it hasn’t been running long enough to reduce the room’s humidity and you’ll be uncomfortable. If your air conditioner is too small, it will run constantly on hot days without ever getting good results.
  • On very hot days, you can save energy by closing the fresh air intake on your room air conditioning unit. Cooling fresh, warm outside air requires more electricity than re-cooling the air that is already circulating in your home.
  • 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.
  • Don’t choose a lower air conditioning temperature when you first turn it on. It won’t cool faster – whenever it’s running it’s cooling as fast as it can. Set low, it cools longer, not faster.
  • Change the air conditioner’s air filter monthly during heavy use. When it’s clogged, airflow is restricted – cooling costs rise, and your system may eventually suffer a compressor failure.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the warm, humid months to remove moisture from the air. A dehumidifier works best when air can circulate freely through it. Place it away from walls and bulky furniture.
  • Use light colors when painting house and trim.
  • Plant shade trees. Outside shade can reduce air conditioning costs 30%.
  • On hot summer days, the temperature in your attic can reach 150 degrees. Improving the ventilation in your attic will lower the temperature of the entire house and make your air conditioner’s job a lot easier. Installing an attic fan that is controlled by a thermostat to exhaust the hot air can greatly improve the comfort of your home.