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Tips on getting your home ready for hot weather

Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to start planning to get your home ready for warmer weather. Remember: Energy efficiency is just as important during the summer as it is during the winter. Not only does it help prevent power outages by easing stress on the grid, but it can also help you cut your energy bills.

Here’s a checklist of tips:

Air conditioning maintenance. Clean or replace your air conditioning unit filters every 30-45 days to ensure proper and efficient performance. Also, have an HVAC specialist inspect your air conditioner at least yearly. A properly maintained AC system can help you save hundreds of dollars a year.

Check your windows and doors. After a long, cold and wet winter, there may be damage that could cause cool air to escape in the summer, taking your hard-earned money with it! Check for any leaks or cracks and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk from the hardware store.

Utilize your ceiling fans. In the summer, run your ceiling fans counterclockwise to push cool air down. Circulating cool air will reduce the need for your air conditioner to work as hard, saving energy and money. (See CUB’s video.) Don’t forget to turn off the fan when you leave the room. Bonus tip: If you haven’t used your ceiling fans since last summer, be sure to wipe down the blades to remove any dust that has accumulated.

Consider upgrading your thermostat. If you want more control of your energy bills this summer, consider replacing your old thermostat with a programmable model or a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats use sensors that continuously monitor temperature, humidity, and other variables throughout your home. According to Energystar.gov, smart thermostats save customers 8 percent on heating and cooling bills yearly, on average. Check with your utility and take advantage of rebates that are available.

Get a free assessment. Many utilities offer home energy assessments at no cost to the customer. During these assessments, an expert will go over any energy efficiency opportunities in your home and may provide you with free products to get you going in the right direction. Inquire with your utility company about such services. Get more information on CUB’s Clean Energy page.