The Department of Energy's recent blog entry on saving energy at home during the summer lists some timely tips on keeping utility costs low as the temperatures get high.
The top step is one that we at Renovate Your World have preached many times. The DOE encourages all readers to install a Programmable Thermostat, stating that it can save up to $150 a year on energy costs. The key in the summer months is to program the thermostat to turn off the cooling when there are no occupants in the home.
On a related note, the DOE suggests placing lamps or TVs away from the thermostat, as the heat put off by those devices can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Good tip, that one!
The other tip worth noting concerned the home's duct system. According to the DOE, the average household loses about 20 percent of heating and cooling through the duct system. Having the ducts inspected, sealed and insulated can save money.