A little savvy about when to open windows and when to keep them closed with curtains drawn goes a long way toward cooling a home, as does putting thought into what cooling appliances to use and when, the experts say. Here are half a dozen ways to maximize cooling.
Be a fan of fansCeiling fans are a great substitute for air conditioning when it's not overly hot or humid, and they make you feel cooler by moving air across your skin, says Meg Waltner, of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
If you need to buy fans, look for Energy Star ratings and rebate offers, she said.
Also, many ceiling fans feature a light kit, so make sure each socket has an energy-saving LED bulb inside. LED bulbs use five times less energy than the old incandescents and don't give off as much heat, Waltner says.
Cooling curtainsPull down the shades or draw the curtains on windows facing south, east and west during the day, says Con Edison, which provides power to New York City and surrounding areas. It says 40 percent of unwanted heat comes in through the windows. Even if air conditioning is needed later, drawing curtains earlier means you can use less of it.
"And it's better to shade the outside of the window than the inside," said Abigail Daken, cooling products manager for Washington, D.C.-based Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through energy efficiency. "Shutters and awnings are very effective," Daken said.
As Originally seen on: http://www.denverpost.com/homegarden/ci_28535128/keep-your-cool-six-ways-chill-your-house-less?source=infinite