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Affordable Air Conditioning & Heating

Energy Saving Tips
Central air conditioners can be 40-70% of your summer electric bill. If you're serious about saving energy, address your cooling costs at some point, since that's what uses the most electricity. Air conditioners, like automobiles, need to be serviced regularly to ensure maximum efficiency. Today’s air conditioners [2005] use 30-50% less electricity than 15-year-old models. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

Install a programmable thermostat
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a programmable thermostat can save you about $150 a year in energy costs if it is properly used. It is recommended for people who are away from home during set times of the day during the week. When no one is home, turn the thermostat up about 8 degrees.

Make sure doors and windows are sealed
You'll pay a lot more to cool your home when the cold air easily escapes. Do-it-yourself weather stripping for doors and caulk for windows is easy to install, and cheap. Also make sure to caulk around the holes where pipes go into the wall under sinks. Also, close the damper to the fireplace when you're not using it – otherwise, cool air will escape through the damper.

Use drapes or blinds on windows
Keep the heat from direct sunlight out. The heat from direct sunlight can raise the temperature of a room by 10-20 degrees. The less heat that gets into your home, the less you have to pay to remove it.

Solar Screens on windows
Solar screening is a special mesh that reflects much more sunlight than regular screening. It's available at home improvement stores or online, and can block 50-70% of the heat from sunlight.

Reflective film on windows
Reflective film reflects the sun's heat from your windows, and can block 40-60% of heat. Modern films reflect heat away without blocking the light too, so you can still have nice, bright rooms. Do-it-your-selfers can get the material from a local home improvement store or online.

Storm Windows and Doors
If you're ambitious, install storm windows and doors. They can reduce the amount of cooling or heating lost through single pane glass by 50%.

Keep in mind that while these methods do reduce heat, they may also reduce light. If you are having to turn more lights on due to the lack of light passing through these barriers, you are using more energy and creating more heat that you have to pay to remove. Try to find a balance that works for you.

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