Cooling

Tips on how to cool your home:

  • Keep Cool Air In & Hot Air Out. When it’s cooler outside than inside, open your windows instead of using air conditioning. Use a window fan, blowing toward the outside, to pull cool air in through other windows and to push hot air out. When it’s warmer outside than inside, close your windows and then draw window coverings against direct sunlight.
  • Adjust Your Schedule. On hot days, delay heat-producing tasks, such as dishwashing, baking, or doing laundry, until the cooler evening or early morning hours.
  • Seal It. Caulk around window and door frames, use weather stripping on exterior doors, and have a professional properly seal gaps where air can travel between the attic and your living space.
  • Use Exhaust Fans. Use your bath fan to remove heat and moisture generated by showers. The savings in your cooling costs will far outweigh the electricity use of the fan. Also, if your kitchen range hood fan exhausts to the outdoors, use it to remove hot air while cooking.
  • Lighten Up. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Incandescent light bulbs lose 90% of their energy as heat. CFLs operate cooler and cost you less to use because more of their energy is used to produce light, and less is lost as heat. Find where you can buy CFLs near you.
  • Shop Smart. When buying air conditioners, choose the smallest ENERGY STAR® qualified unit appropriate for the size of the room you’re cooling. Oversized models can be less effective at reducing uncomfortable humidity and they cost more to operate. Find the right size air conditioner for your room.
  • Clean and Maintain. Fill gaps along the sides of your air conditioner to keep outside air from leaking in. Remember to clean air conditioner filters regularly and keep the front and back of air conditioners unobstructed.
  • Planning New Landscaping? Leafy shade trees planted on the east and west sides of your home can improve comfort and decrease cooling needs by blocking heat and sunlight. You’ll still have the benefit of heat from the sun in the winter, after the leaves fall. Ask a landscaper or at a nursery about the right species and proper planting techniques.
  • Considering Efficient Windows? They do a great job of increasing comfort but the high purchase price is rarely paid back by energy savings. So, it's not financially advisable to replace functioning windows for energy-saving purposes alone. The time it makes the most financial sense to invest in efficient windows is when you’re replacing a non-functional window or you’re putting a window in a space for the first time. Otherwise, it’s possible to improve your functioning windows, to make them perform nearly as well as new ones, but at a fraction of the cost. Replace cracked panes and any cracked or missing glazing, run a bead of caulk around window frames, and use side-mount sash locks to hold windows firmly in place. If you don’t have storm windows, have them made now for installation next winter.
  • Take Advantage of Warm Days. Summer is a great time to make energy-saving home improvements. These improvements can reduce both cooling and heating costs and make your home more comfortable year-round. A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can find and fix the causes of high energy bills, uncomfortably hot or cold/drafty rooms, moisture problems, ice dams, and more. Find a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor near you.

Room Air Conditioners

ENERGY STAR® qualified room air conditioners: use 10-20% less energy than conventional models, reducing energy bills and helping our environment. They also have advanced technologies, and are often the quietest models on the market.

Select the Right Size Room Air Conditioner.

Bigger isn’t always cooler. That’s especially true when you select a room air conditioner. Operating an air conditioning unit that is too large for a room wastes energy because it’s less effective at removing humidity from the air.

That’s why it’s important to select the right unit to fit your needs. Room air conditioner sizes are rated in BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour. The chart below will help you choose a room air conditioner size that’s right for you.

Air Conditioner Sizing Chart

Other factors to consider in properly sizing a room air conditioner

  • If the room is very sunny, increase the size by 10%. If it is very shady, decrease the size by 10%.
  • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs per hour for each additional person to the size selected.
  • If your room air conditioner is intended for use in a kitchen, increase size by 4,000 BTUs per hour.
  • The factors listed above will provide you with general information for sizing a room air conditioner in Vermont. There may be other factors not considered here that could affect the size of the room air conditioner you choose. Check with a sales associate or a qualified cooling professional to make sure you are choosing the appropriate size for your needs.