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Cool tips for a hot summer

• Close drapes or blinds during the day to keep heat producing sunlight out.

• Use fans in occupied rooms to reduce air-conditioning costs.

• Check, change or clean your air conditioner’s filter once a month. Dirty filters reduce efficiency by reducing airflow. Establish a habit of checking your filter on a regular basis. There are many different types of air filters. Most filters need to be changed or cleaned once a month during peak cooling and heating seasons. Some filters only need to be changed every few months or so. Get to know your air filter type and keep it clean. ??Keep a record of your filter maintenance. If possible, write the installation date on the filter when you install a new one.

• Use kitchen and bathroom vent fans to remove moisture before it spreads throughout the house.

• Clear the areas around outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps so they can work efficiently. Keep tall grass, landscaping and other items at least two feet away from your equipment.

• If you use window air conditioners, make sure the window opening around the unit is tightly sealed. Clean the filter on a regular basis.

• Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than usual when you turn on your air conditioner. In most cases, this will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

• Avoid using the stove or oven on a hot day. Instead, use the microwave, grill outdoors or throw together a cold summer meal.

• If your home has a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed.

• Clean your refrigerator coils, either at the bottom of the unit or behind the unit. Clean coils will help your refrigerator operate more efficiently and produce less heat.

• If you have a dry crawl space, cover and seal the vents to prevent hot, humid air from entering your home.

• When using the air conditioner, check your windows on a regular basis to make sure they close properly. Locking the windows is often the best way to keep windows closed tight.

• Clean your registers and return air grilles on a regular basis.

• Home sealing can reduce air conditioner runtime and help your home stay cool. Use caulk or foam to seal cracks or openings that let warm outside air enter the home. Check weather stripping on exterior doors and on doors that lead to a garage.

Learn how to seal your home properly with the on-line Guide to Energy Star Home Sealing or contact Boone REMC for a free information packet about home sealing.