Cool money saving tips for a hot summer

Assuming they are, in fact, correct, weather forecasters are predicting temperatures in the 90s this weekend. Not surprisingly, with warmer temperatures here, energy costs are on the rise. The high temperatures will drastically increase the use of power-guzzling air conditioners. To reduce the high electricity demands, experts at The Home Depot encourage residents to do their part to conserve energy. Here are some tips to help you beat the heat this summer from The Home Depot:

– Clean or replace air conditioner filters as recommended by the manufacturer.

– Use duct tape to seal leaky ducts and weather stripping for doors and windows. About 25 cents of each dollar spent on cooling may be lost through leaky ducts. Check air conditioning ductwork to make sure it hasn’t become disconnected or crushed. Also installing weather stripping on doors and windows keeps the cool air in and hot air out in the summer through those sneaky door/window cracks.

– Use a programmable thermostat, which can save 3-4 percent of your cooling bill for each degree. Set temperatures for the times when someone is typically home. Choose a model to fit your needs and schedule.

– Use ceiling fans or evaporative coolers instead of an air conditioner. Ceiling fans can save up to 40 percent on air conditioning costs. In the winter, simply reverse the direction of the fan to keep warm air in the room and save up to 10 percent on energy costs.

n Switch to energy-efficient fluorescent lights.
Seventy-five percent of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs becomes wasted heat, not light.

– Make sure your home has proper ceiling insulation. Insulating the ceiling not only keeps the house from heating up in the summer, but also from losing heat in the winter. If the attic is accessible, add enough insulation to bring its R-rating to at least R-38. Proper insulation may reduce home energy use by 10 to 20 percent.

– Replace energy-devouring appliances with new Energy Star appliances, which can save you between $35 and $70 a year.

– Replace old windows with energy efficient glass vinyl or aluminum windows.

– When installing new window coverings, consider heat resistant materials.