Tips to save money and keep cool in the summer

Little things like turning the thermostat up by two or three degrees when no one is home can help save in cooling costs. (Thinkstock)

Meghin Moore, special to

WASHINGTON – Energy Star says the average American family pays nearly $1,000 on heating and cooling costs for their home. This number is much higher than paying for other electricity costs in a home and is almost half of a household’s total energy bill.

Yahoo has some tips to help save money and keep costs low:

  • Place an oscillating fan in common family rooms, like dining rooms or living rooms. This will help the cool air circulating in the home.
  • Keep the temperature at a constant temperature, rather than lowering the thermostat too much. Lowering the thermostat will not cool the house faster, and it costs money.
  • If nobody is going to be at home, try raising the thermostat by two or three degrees.
  • Put in a whole house fan system. By having a whole house fan system, hot air will be pulled out of the home and air will circulate, which will cool the house. Installing a system like this could cool off a house a few degrees.
  • Check air conditioning units. If units are ten or more years old, replace them with energy efficient units that can reduce costs by at least 30 percent. Homes with central A/C should calibrate the thermostats and charge the system yearly.
  • Check the filters in air conditioning units and replace them once a month. By doing this, air flow across the filter will help cut costs and keep allergens like dust and pet dander from floating through the air.
  • Hang insulated curtains in windows. Curtains that are sheer or decorative might look nice, but they do not provide a barrier between homes and the outdoor heat. When it is hot outside, keep the windows covered. If it is a nice day, open up the curtains and let the sun shine in.
  • Check for leaks around windows and doors. Quick checks like this could save households all sorts of money on energy bills.

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