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Helping Out Your A/C
If you set your thermostat a couple of degrees higher during the summer, you can cut your electric bill considerably and also help out the environment. In order to take some of the heat off your A/C and stay comfortable, try these tips:
Have your air conditioner checked and serviced. This can help it run more efficiently and perhaps avoid a breakdown. Also, change filters as directed.
Don’t cool when you aren’t home. Turn the thermostat up even more when you leave for work. If you install a programmable thermostat, you can set it to turn the temperature down before you get home so you don’t arrive to a hot house.
Close your drapes or blinds. Keeping the sun out during the day keeps your house cooler.
Use fans. Whether it is a ceiling fan or a window fan, moving the air around can keep you more comfortable. A whole-house fan can remove the heat from your house into your attic and out.
Open the windows when it is cooler outside, especially at night.
Dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes. If you feel that you have to put on a sweater, you are cooling your house too much.
Schedule exercise for when it is cooler. Early morning or later evening can work better for exercise, heavy housework and other sweat-inducing activities.
Avoid using your stove. Especially on very hot days, don’t bake, boil water for pasta or do other cooking that involves turning your oven or burners on. Instead, use your microwave or serve a lighter, cooler meal such as sliced tomatoes and cold cuts.
Don’t block your cool air vents. You don’t want all your cooling – and your money – to be going into the bottom of your couch.
Change your lightbulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat. On the other hand, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) – the “twirly bulbs” – give off very little heat. They also use a lot less electricity, so you save money.
Avoid long, hot showers. Steam heats up your house, and a hot shower heats up your body. Instead, take quick showers with tepid water.
Drink plenty of water -- with plenty of ice.