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Money-saving tips to help prevent your AC from working harder than it has to this summer

Money-saving tips to help prevent your AC from working harder than it has to this summer
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-15 11:59:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. — With temperatures in the 90s this week, Dominion Virginia Power has offered some tips to help keep your energy costs down while trying to keep cool at home.

“Most homes have significant air leaks in outer walls, doors, windows and other openings,” Dominion spokesman Rob Richardson said. “This allows hot air to seep in and cool air to escape—driving up your energy costs.”

Richardson said sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can force your air conditioner to work two to three times harder than normal.

Common air leaks

“Closing the blinds during the day is one solution. Installing curtains that you can close during the heat of the day can also make a difference,” he added.

Other things to try include:

  1. Setting thermostat to highest comfortable temperature. Dominion recommends 78 degrees for max efficiency.
  2. Using programmable thermostats to save money by automatically turning off your AC while you’re away.
  3. Turning  off ceiling fans when leaving the room. Fans don’t cool spaces, but cool people by creating a wind chill effect.
  4. Replacing or cleaning cooling system filters monthly.
  5. Using an outdoor grill during hot weather lowers cooling costs
  6. Installing LED light bulbs in outdoor fixtures for their durability and energy savings