Before chilly autumn nights set in, you need to make an appointment for your furnaces annual check up. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working.
Whatever type of system you have, don't wait until it breaks down to call for service. A clean, well-adjusted heating system will save you money on fuel and prolong the furnace life.
Lights create a lot of heat which your AC system has to remove. Replace your lights with low energy use compact florescent or LED bulbs, which use up to 85% less energy and create 70-90% less heat at the time. You'll save two ways, less energy for cooling and less energy for lighting.
***Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer, and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling will be.
***Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder temperature setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
***Consider using an interior fan such as a ceiling fan to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
***Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.
If your air conditioner is old, consider buying an energy-efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels--qualified central units are about 15% more efficient than standard models. You also may have rebates available to you from NICOR and COMED depending on model efficiency.
To help your air conditioning run efficiently, make sure tall grass and other debris is not on or around condenser. This could restrict air flow and use more electricity. Also, when using a weed wacker be sure not to hit your condensing unit outside, this will cause interior damage.