Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds on the sunny side of your house will help keep you cooler on hot days. If you don’t want to obstruct the view, consider applying window film to the glass. Both the do-it-yourself cut-and-stick type and the professionally applied films will reduce radiant heat while allowing you to see through them. Similarly, the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests using outdoor awnings and, if you live in an area that is warm all year round, even painting your house a light color to reflect heat away.
It is recommended that window air conditioners be placed toward the center of the room on the shady side of the house.
Your house’s biggest electricity guzzler is the air conditioner (and heating in the winter), accounting for as much as half of your energy bill. Make sure your systems are running at their highest efficiency by having annual professional cleanings and checkups. To help you remember, schedule a service call either when you set your clocks forward in the spring or back in the fall.
Change the filters of your air conditioner and furnace monthly. Keeping the air flowing and clean is good for your lungs and will help maintain peak efficiency. Don’t know how? Ask the pro who does your annual cleaning to show you.
Be sure your air conditioner is the right size for the room. Obviously, if it’s too small, it won’t do the job. But, according to the DOE, a unit that’s too big will result in reduced efficiency, higher electric bills, uncomfortable temperature fluctuations and excessive wear and tear, which means you’ll probably have to buy a replacement unit much sooner.
Swapping out your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs has several benefits. These include saving money on your electric bill, superior light quality, less impact on the environment and replacing bulbs once every decade or two instead of every few months.