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Summer 2006 ENERGY STAR News

No need for Americans to suffer in the heat this summer. The average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has new tools and advice for homeowners and businesses to keep money in their pockets, be comfortable, and protect the environment.

Cool Your World with ENERGY STAR @ home

ENERGY STAR @ homeWith the start of summer and current high energy costs, Americans are looking for ways to cool their homes, stay comfortable and save money. When you reduce the amount of energy used in your home, you save money on energy bills, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by burning fossil fuels to make that electricity. That also reduces the risks of global warming and protects our environment for future generations.

EPA has a new interactive tool, ENERGY STAR @ home that shows consumers how they can make energy-efficient improvements in each room of their home.

Consumers can find energy-efficient home improvement ideas and advice to help save energy this summer. EPA has designed this tool to bring homeowners the best information on how they can cool their homes efficiently and protect the environment. Find advice on home sealing, what products to buy and everyday energy-saving tips. Homeowners can turn to ENERGY STAR for the guidance needed to improve a home’s efficiency and save money on energy bills.

Tips to Save Energy this Summer

Ultimately, individual actions at home can add up to a lot of savings-in terms of energy, money, and greenhouse gas emissions. EPA recommends these five simple steps to help Cool Your World this summer:

RAISE YOUR “COOL” IQ

Learning how energy is used in your home is an important step toward cutting energy costs, improving your home’s energy efficiency and protecting the environment. Raise your “cool” IQ by visiting ENERGY STAR @ home for energy-efficient home improvement ideas and energy saving tips and advice for your entire house.

GET A CHECKUP

Dirt and neglect are the primary causes of system failure. Schedule an annual, pre-season maintenance checkup with a licensed contractor to ensure your cooling system is operating efficiently and safely. Be sure to clean or change your system’s air filter according to its instructions-generally once a month. Keep it clean to keep it efficient.

SEAL THE DEAL

Don’t let the hot air in and your cool air out. Find and seal air leaks that cause drafts and make your cooling system work overtime. You or a licensed contractor can follow ENERGY STAR Home Sealing recommendations to tighten your home’s “envelope” — outer walls, ceiling, windows, and floors.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

Save energy by taking advantage of periods in the day when your home doesn’t need to be kept as cool. A programmable thermostat, set and used properly, can save about $100 in energy costs each year. Ceiling fans can also cut home energy use-turn the thermostat up several degrees while using the fans to deliver the extra cooling comfort.

KEEP YOUR COOL

Look for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing products for your home. In addition to heating and cooling equipment, you can find the ENERGY STAR on products in more than 40 product categories, including lighting, consumer electronics, and appliances.

Thank you!
Sincerely,
Maria Vargas, EPA