Spring Home & Garden 2017
When attempting to cool their
homes, many homeowners first in-
stinct may be to adjust the air con-
ditioning thermostat. But there are
other, more energy-efficient methods
to cooling a home.
According to the International As-
sociation of Certified Home Inspectors,
as much as half of the energy used
in homes goes toward heating and
The following are a handful of ways
to make heating and cooling a home
Insulation often is associated with
warmth, and rightfully so, as it is used
to protect a home from cold weather.
However, insulation also is effective
at cooling homes.
Many insulation materials work
by slowing down the way heat moves
through materials and into spaces.
Proper insulation can provide ef-
fective resistance to the flow of heat,
meaning it can help block hot air from
flowing into the interior of a home.
Insulation will help reduce the
amount of work a cooling system will
have to do to cool a home thanks to
the flow of heat.
Replace air filters
Air filters trap dust, debris and
other microscopic particles so they are
not circulating in the air or clogging
Over time, air filters can become so
bogged down with dirt that air cannot
move through a home very easily, forc-
ing cooling systems to work harder.
Simply replacing the filters can
help cooling systems work more ef-
Adjust the thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow
homeowners to adjust their cooling
systems for when they are home and
when they are out.
Air conditioners can be set at higher
temperatures when residents are at
work or school, and then lowered be-
fore residents arrive home.
Try evaporative coolers
Sometimes called swamp coolers,
these devices can be effective in re-
gions with low humidity.
The U.S. Department of Energy
notes that these coolers evaporate
water into the air to provide a natural
and energy-efficient means of cooling
When operating an evaporative
cooler, windows are opened part way
to allow warm indoor air to escape as
it is replaced by cooled air.
Unlike central air conditioning
systems that recirculate the same air,
evaporative coolers provide a steady
stream of fresh air into the house.
Plus, they consume only about one-
quarter of the energy consumed by
more traditional air conditioners.
Fans help to circulate air through-
out a home and create an effective
Ceiling fans are usually most ef-
fective at circulating air throughout a
room. The larger the blades, the more
air that can be offset by the fan. Many
fans operate quietly and effectively. In
some locations, fans may be all that’s
needed to cool a space.
In others, fans may work in con-
junction with air conditioners to
enable homeowners to raise the ther-
mostat by about 4 F.
Keeping a home cool and saving
money in the process is possible by
making a few tweaks to the cooling
When attempting to cool their homes, many homeowners first instinct may be to adjust the air conditioning thermostat. But
there are other, more energy-efficient methods to cooling a home.
can save big
Make sure air isn’t escaping
through unnecessary openings
such as fireplace dampers, doors
or windows. Take a good look at
the seals around these areas to see
if weather stripping or caulk needs
to be applied.