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Photo of gauges on an A/C unit

Hot tips to help cut summer cooling costs

Did you know summer air conditioning is one of the largest energy demands in your home? But there are a few things you can do to reduce cooling costs, saving energy and money this summer.

According to the Department of Energy (DoE), about 76 percent of the sunlight that falls on a standard double pane window enters to become heat. To prevent unwanted heat, keep your blinds or curtains closed, so direct sunlight can’t come in. If you have horizontal blinds, turn the vanes upwards. This will deflect the heat toward the ceiling, keeping the space below cooler.

The DoE further states: “You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from its normal setting.”

So, use your programmable thermostat when you're away from home or asleep for more than eight hours. Keep in mind, the greater the temperature difference between the inside of your house and the outdoors, the more it will cost to run the cooling system.

Photo of an A/C unit

If you don’t have air conditioning or want to reduce your energy bills, there are alternate cooling methods.

On cool nights, you can utilize the “stack effect” if your house has multiple floors by opening windows on both floors. Warm, less-dense air will rise and leave through the open windows on the upper floor, creating a drop in air pressure that will pull in cooler air through the windows on the lower level.

If the stack effect doesn’t work for your house, try cross-ventilation. Install a box fan in a window on one side of the house to blow cool air inside and another in a window on the opposite side to blow warm air outside.

Technician tuning up an A/C unit

Whole-house fans combine these two energy-saving approaches: vertically expelling warm air and pulling in cool air with a (big) fan.

Also remember, air conditioners require regular maintenance to function efficiently. Neglecting maintenance can result in performance decline and increased energy use, costing you money. An air conditioner tune-up by a professional keeps your system in top shape. During Holland BPW's promotional period, Holland BPW customers can receive a rebate of $50 — double the usual $25 rebate — on an AC tune-up.

If it's time to replace your AC, consider purchasing a heat pump. Not only will a heat pump cool your house more efficiently, but it'll also provide heating. Holland BPW has $500 and $1,000 per-ton rebates for heat pumps.

For more information on rebates available through Holland BPW, visit or call 616-355-1534.