Summer – things you can do to beat the heat

Condition your air

Keep your thermostat at a constant, comfortable level (75 - 78 degrees) when you are home. Lowering the thermostat setting too far will not cool your home faster. MORE...

Keep vents clean with a vacuum or broom and do not cover ducts with drapes or furniture that can block the airflow.

Don't place lamps or TV sets near your air conditioner thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, and causes the air conditioning to run longer than necessary using more energy.

Concentrate the conditioned cooled air in the rooms that are occupied. The fewer rooms and the smaller the area cooled the more energy efficient.

Plant trees or shrubs to shade outdoor air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.

Stick to smart habits

To reduce heat and moisture in your apartment or home, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or evening hours when it's generally cooler outside. MORE...

Also, use a microwave to cook, or barbecue outside, if possible.

Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply drawing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat gain to your apartment or home. Window coatings like treated plastic sheets reflect as much as 80 percent of direct rays from the sun.

Keep doors to the outside, garage or attic firmly closed to keep cool air in and hot air out. Keep the fireplace damper closed tightly when not in use.

Turn off all unnecessary lighting and appliances, which add heat to the home.

Use fans to circulate cooled air. This will more evenly distribute cool air, and can reduce the "on" time of your air conditioner. During summer months, blades should spin clockwise to evenly distribute cooler air.

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