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In Raleigh, NC, the average temperature during the summer reaches the high 80s. You are probably trying to decrease your monthly utility bills by running your central air conditioner less, but you may not know the best ways to cool your home more efficiently. Try the following tips to save money on air conditioning this summer.

1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to really save on the cost of running your air conditioner. You can program them with varying temperature settings that are higher when you are asleep and away from home for several hours. These thermostats can be programmed manually, and some of them feature “smart” technology that learns from your routines of temperature settings. Many programmable thermostats have mobile device apps that allow you to set the thermostat on the go.

2. Use Your Ceiling Fans

Placing ceiling fans in rooms that people inhabit frequently is another way to keep everyone cool and the thermostat set higher. Ceiling fans work to cool people by circulating the existing air in a room, but this still saves energy by not requiring as much use of the air conditioner. Turn the fans off when the room is not being utilized.

3. Invest in Regular Maintenance

Scheduling regular air conditioning maintenance will help you save on energy costs and keep your system running at an optimum level. Trained technicians will clean and inspect the system and ensure that everything is working as it should. They will replace filters and sometimes other items. If any issues are hindering your system, they will advise you on any corrective measures you may need to take.

4. Install an Energy Star System

If your system is an older model, it may be time to replace it with a new Energy Star system. Air conditioning units that are ENERGY STAR certified meet energy-efficient guidelines that are determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings are higher and use less energy than conventional models. By installing a new Energy Star cooling system, you will save energy and money.

5. Use the Oven Less

Using the oven and range inside your home during the hot summer months makes your cooling system work even harder to cool down the house. If you can, try to grill outside a couple of times a week. You can also utilize your crockpot, instant pot, air fryer or other self-contained cooking units. Even modern ovens are somewhat inefficient in the amount of energy they use to cook just a few items, and there will be a higher use of air conditioning throughout the house to compensate for the additional heated air.

6. Use Insulated Curtains

Using insulated curtains is an easy and efficient way to help reduce the heat that accumulates in a room from the sun shining through the windows. Insulated curtains block the sunlight and help prevent heat transfer. These curtains are typically made with four layers that include a core layer of dense foam, a vapor barrier that prevents the foam from absorbing moisture, a layer of reflecting film and an outer layer of decorative material. These energy-efficient curtains come in many styles and types, and you can have drapes, blinds, shades, and curtains to fit any room.

These are just some of the many ways you can save on your energy costs during the hot summers in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. For more ideas on how to save energy or to schedule an appointment for an HVAC service, give Cape Fear Air Conditioning a call today.

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