When you get home on a hot day, your first inclination may be to turn on the air conditioning to its coldest setting. But energy experts say that doesn't speed the cooling process. In fact, it makes your unit work harder unnecessarily and use more energy, which is reflected on your utility bill.
There are other ways to maximize the cold air that comes from your AC, and they typically involve running electric fans in tandem with it. By positioning fans near your window units or in proximity to vents where central air emits, you can circulate the cool air over a wider area.
For homeowners who have central air conditioning, setting their thermostats higher in summer is another energy-saving move, the U.S. Department of Energy reported. The key is to keep the indoor temperature as close as possible, within your comfort zone, to the temperature outside. To prevent the air conditioning system from going off before it reaches the pre-set level, don't place heat-generating appliances like TVs or lamps near the thermostat.
If you don't need to cool the upper floors of a multi-level house, try other methods to keep heat at a minimum. Pulling down shades or drawing curtains prevents strong sunlight from entering rooms and heating them. Or, you can set your fans to an exhaust setting that will pull hot air out of the house to the outside.
If you think of the cooling effect of a breeze on a summer day, you'll appreciate the indoor wind chill that electric fans can add to your home. Having multiple fans and AC units used on a single floor will create a cross breeze between them that carries the cooled air from room to room.
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