The warmer months are a great time to take steps to reduce your energy consumption at home, while saving money on cooling costs. Here are some ways. StatePoint Media Wire
Dial up: During the day, set the air-conditioning thermostat at 76 degrees or warmer, and move it a few degrees higher at night.
Insulate: Adding insulation to your attic is the easiest, least expensive way to keep the house cool. Insulation can be blown into wall cavities. If siding is to be replaced, add a layer of exterior insulation.
Keep your cool: Caulk, install weather stripping or use spray-in foams around windows and doors, on exterior walls or between cooled and non-air conditioned spaces such as garages and crawl spaces.
Clean up: Clean or change filters every one to two months and have your system maintained according to manufacturer's instructions. Dirty filters, coils and fans reduce airflow, which decreases performance.
Mind the ventilation: Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely. Install a timer switch to limit the time an exhaust fan is on.
Cover up: Close the drapes or shades on the east, south and west windows during the day to prevent the sun's energy from heating the room. The shade or drapery material should be reflective on the side facing the window.
Ductwork: Have air ducts checked for leaks and holes. If you use duct tape to repair and seal ducts, use tape with the Underwriters Lab logo so it doesn't degrade, crack or lose its bond with age.
Get some shade: Shading from overhangs, awnings, exterior shades, shade screens and foliage can reduce heat entering the house, especially on east and west windows. Make sure landscaping doesn't block the air.
For more energy-saving tips, visit www.ashrae.org/consumer.