Feature

Tip of the week: Keep cool—and keep costs down

Here are four tips for staying cool and saving energy.

Get a fan. Fans “cost little to run” and can make you feel “up to 7 degrees cooler.” On humid summer days, “set the fan on low to remove more moisture from the air.”

Make shade. Close the curtains and blinds, especially for “west-facing windows in the afternoon.” You can help “filter the sun” by adding awnings.

Lighten up. Incandescent bulbs give off “about 75 percent more heat than Energy Star­–qualified compact fluorescent lights.” Swap a 60-watt incandescent for a 15-watt CFL, and you’ll not only stay cooler but save “up to $41 over the life of the bulb.”

Use air conditioning wisely. A “programmable thermostat” lets you raise temperatures while you’re out. Installing an air conditioner in a “shady spot” can “increase its efficiency up to 10 percent.” Don’t bother lowering the temperature on the A/C right after turning it on: This won’t “cool the room any faster” but will use more energy.

Source: Consumer Reports

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