Keeping Your Cool Without Going Broke

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Now that summer has officially begun, we thought it would be a good time to take a refresher course on refreshing ourselves—without busting our budgets or being environmental villains. There are so many resources to learn more—but we recommend, and

Here are a few affordable and easy tips to keep your cool:

•Don’t put lamps or television sets or any other appliance that gives off heat near a wall thermostat. (Sounds obvious but it’s a common mistake).

•If you live in a house and have an air conditioning compressor outside, make sure it’s shaded (but don’t block air flow).

•Did you know that three trees, planted in the right spots, can save you hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs? Planting on the south and west sides of your home will keep your home several degrees cooler. And rock gardens, asphalt driveways, and concrete are heat radiators, especially on the south and west sides of your home.

•Clean or change the filters on your air conditioners every month in the summertime.√ •According to about 20 percent of summer heat enters your home through your windows. If you can’t shade from the outside, using window shades, curtains, or blinds in sunny rooms will keep the room temperature increase to only about one degree per hour when the outside temperature goes about 85 degrees.

•If you have a ceiling fan in your house or apartment, make sure it is set for summer--you want a downward flow of air. But don't leave it on when you leave the room. Ceiling fans work by cooling you, not the room. (By the way, setting it to turn in the opposite direction for winter will save you on heating bills as it distributes warm air around the room).

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