Five easy tips to reduce air conditioning costs

(NC) The hot weather has finally arrived, and while many of us enjoy basking in the sun, when we're inside our homes we prefer the cool comfort of air conditioning. That said, it's important to keep a close watch on how you use it, because keeping the air conditioning on full blast could lead to hefty energy bills.
Here are five summer tips to help you stay comfortable, reduce energy use and save money from Dave Walton, the director of home ideas for Enercare Home Services.
• Use ceiling fans to circulate cool air. Fan blades should operate in a counter-clockwise direction to move the air downwards and maximize air circulation so your air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard.
• Don't lose money cooling rooms that aren't in use. Close vents and shut the doors in unused rooms. Also make sure to clear the vents you are using from dust and obstructions.
• Close curtains or blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight to keep heat out of the house.
• Landscaping around your air conditioner unit can help block the sun so it works more efficiently, but make sure trees, plants and hedges are planted at least three feet from the unit to avoid restricting airflow.
• Have a qualified professional perform maintenance on your air conditioner before the hot weather arrives to ensure it is operating efficiently and, be sure to wash or replace furnace filters every three months for maximum efficiency.
More tips for reducing your air conditioning costs can be found at www.enercare.ca.

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