Greensboro - The heat of the summer can mean high utility bills, but WFMY News 2's home expert Tom Garcia explained several easy and cheap ways to keep your home energy efficient throughout the summer heat.
Garcia said one easy way to save is to add ceiling fans. "Ceiling fans are inexpensive but save big bucks," said Garcia. "Standard fans range between 50 and 60 dollars, but you can turn up your thermostat up to four degrees because your body will feel cooler from the breeze of the fan."
As for thermostat temperatures, Garcia recommends keeping your thermostat set at 78 degrees and using a fan to supplement additional cool air. He said if you are away for the day or go out of town, turn your thermostat all the way up. Rarely, he affirmed, should you turn it all the way off in the summer. Garcia said using programmable thermostats can save you as much as 10 percent a year, as they allow you to turn your thermostat back a few degrees (10 to 15 percent) for about eight hours.
Door weather stripping is critical to keeping cool air inside your home, and doors should be checked to make sure they are sealing properly. Garcia said the sealing should be soft and flexible, and changing it is an easy do-it-yourself project.
Garcia suggested cleaning your air conditioning filter once a month to ensure it functions properly. Outside compressors should be kept free of debris, such as grass clippings and other dirt. Use a hose periodically to rinse out your compressors.
To help keep residents in Guilford County cool, there is a heat relief program currently available. If you are 60 years or older or who have a disability and lack access to a cooling unit, you can qualify for a free fan.
If you live in Greensboro, call 336-333-6981.
If you live in High Point or Jamestown, call 336-884-6981.