(NAPSI)—When the temperature’s rising, your energy costs don’t have to. These tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can help:

1. Keep the Heat Out and the Cool In—Sealing and insulating your home can save you up to $200 a year in utility bills. Find and seal air leaks with spray foam, caulk and weather stripping. Seal and insulate the cooling system ducts in your attic.

Considering new windows? ENERGY STAR certified windows have coatings that let in light but keep out heat. Replacing old windows with these lowers household energy bills 12 percent on average. Also, keep shades down and drapes closed.

2. Maintain Your Cooling System—Have a contractor check and clean evaporator and condenser air-conditioning coils, check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary, and clean and adjust blower components.

Inspect, clean or change your system’s air filter every three months.

3. Need a Room AC?—If you’re getting a room air conditioner, be aware that models with the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified to deliver energy savings, comfort, and improved sealing and insulation. On average, they cost as little as $70 per year to run.

A room air conditioner with connected functionality can:

• Turn off the unit remotely using your phone or computer;

• Schedule changes to temperature settings based on your needs;

• Get feedback on the energy use of the product.

Choose the right size AC. An oversized unit will only remove some of the humidity, leaving the room with a damp, clammy feeling. When installing an AC, follow the instructions and use the insulation materials included.

4. Get Set for Savings—Install a new ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat for energy savings with environmental benefits, reliable performance, and convenience, insight and control. A Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat can automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance.

If you have a manual or programmable thermostat, set the temperature up to save energy when you’re asleep or away.

5. Choose and Use Products to Keep Your Cool—In hot weather, use an ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. This creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler.

Replace incandescent lightbulbs with ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs. These produce about 70 to 90 percent less heat, so they’re safer and can cut energy costs.

For more information and tips, visit www.energystar.gov/cooling.

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On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)