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Keep cool during the summer with these energy-saving tips

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There are dozens of ways to keep your energy costs under control during the hottest months of the year. Keep in mind — nearly half of your electric bill in the summer goes toward cooling your home. Therefore, maintaining your air conditioner and keeping the sun’s heat out of your house are the two most important ways to save.

Here are some ideas to help lower you summer energy bills:

  • Have your air conditioner maintained annually by a qualified technician and check your air filter monthly.
  • Consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR air conditioner. If the central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model could cut cooling costs by 30%.
  • Close blinds, shades and draperies to reflect the sun’s heat. Remember that white window coverings reflect sunlight, and dark coverings will absorb the heat.
  • Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. By changing the direction to counter-clockwise in the summer, the fan will circulate the cool air.
  • Turn off the ceiling fan when not in the room. Ceiling fans cool people — not rooms. If the room is unoccupied, turn off the ceiling fan to save energy.
  • Turn up the thermostat. An optimal setting for improved energy efficiency is at or above 78 degrees. For every degree you turn up the temperature, you could save 2% to 3% on your cooling bill.
  • Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors to keep the cold air from escaping.
  • Minimize the use of ovens, stoves, dryers and other major appliances on very hot days. Their usage could require the air conditioner to run longer.
  • Close the fireplace damper. An open damper will allow the conditioned air to escape.

Vectren does not endorse any particular product or wholesaler.

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