Getting the most out of your air conditioning at home

Beach vacations, grilling and pool parties are great, but it can ruin your summer fun if your AC fails when temperatures soar. A little planning and preventative maintenance goes a long way in keeping your A/C running smoothly when the heat turns up. Learn more:

Smart Cooling Solutions: Hacks to Enhance Your Home’s Air Conditioning

Start by making sure your house has the right amount of cooling capacity for the rooms you use most. Use a room-size calculator to determine how much AC you need. Also, make sure your programmable thermostat is properly located. For optimal energy efficiency, place it on an interior wall away from direct sunlight, drafts, skylights, doorways and windows, the DOE recommends. Keep furniture and curtains out of the way so that the thermostat has a clear view.

Consider window tint or a solar film, which can cut down on the sun’s radiant heat and UV rays. This can help reduce the load on your air conditioner and allow you to set the thermostat a degree or two higher without sacrificing comfort.

Be sure to unplug appliances when you’re not using them, and be sure to turn off lights when you’re not in the room. This strategy can save you money year-round, but it’s particularly effective during warmer months when your electricity bills are at their highest. Also, consider a dehumidifier to reduce humidity and make your home feel cooler.

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