With electricity prices likely to increase, and longer, warmer summers on the horizon, it makes sense to reduce your air conditioning bills as much as possible. One simple suggestion: don’t make your home colder than it needs to be. Most people find a setting of about 25 degrees to be reasonable; set it lower only if really necessary. Program your thermostat to leave your home a little warmer when it’s going to be unoccupied for more than four hours, but begin cooling the house shortly before you arrive home. This is more efficient than cranking up the AC in an effort to cool the house quickly. Reduce heating by sunlight by keeping your blinds or curtains closed, applying a reflective coating to windows, or installing awnings that can be removed in the Winter when you want the extra heat and illumination. When the temperature drops in the early morning or evening, you may be tempted to open your windows, but try to resist the urge. Opening windows will allow humidity to enter the house and your air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to remove the humidity and regulate the temperature. Speaking of fresh air, a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) pumps fresh air into your home and removes stale air, while transferring heat between the two streams, reducing heat loss in Winter and cooling loss in Summer. You can make your air conditioning system more efficient by ensuring joints in the ductwork are properly sealed (this is what that ubiquitous duct tape is really for), and by having your ducts cleaned every few years. Don’t forget to change the air filters on your air conditioner or furnace (if they’re an integrated unit) and on your HRV. Keep the area around the outside unit clear of any obstructions. Most importantly, have your entire air conditioning system inspected and tuned by a certified HVAC technician. Give the team at Oosterveld Heating and Air Conditioning a call. They have the expertise to keep your air conditioning system working at peak efficiency, contributing to both your physical and financial comfort. Contact them at 519-837-2351 or visit their website at www.oosterveldheating.com.