Summer "Dog Days" are here, and you'll be using your air conditioner more often. But good planning can keep you cool and save you money, says the Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute.
Here are some tips:
--Set the thermostat control at the highest comfortable level. Each degree raised can reduce energy consumption by 3% to 4%.
--Weatherstrip and insulate (especially the attic) to close air gaps.
--Whenever possible, wash and dry clothes and bake and cook during cooler morning and evening hours.
--Pull drapes and shade windows facing the sun.
--Check the air filter and replace or clean it as needed or every 30 days during heavy cooling.
--When coming home, don't set the thermostat any lower than the temperature actually wanted. The air conditioning will not cool any faster and might waste money by cooling more than needed.