Top Tips

to Keep Cool

Keep the Heat Out
  • Improve insulation between your attic and roof. If your home experiences hot ceilings, walls, or whole rooms, uneven temperatures between rooms, or high heating or cooling bills, adding insulation in your attic can help you maintain the desired temperature throughout your home and make a real difference on your utility bills.
  • Replacing your windows? Consider ENERGY STAR! With ENERGY STAR certified windows you can stay cool all summer long. Most ENERGY STAR certified windows reduce the “heat gain” into your home more than typical windows do, without reducing the visible light. You’ll get the light you need without the uncomfortable heat.
  • To keep out the sun’s heat, close window shades and drapes in warm weather.
  • The right roof can do a lot to keep the heat out. Consider ENERGY STAR certified roof products.
Keep the Cool In
Maintain Your Cooling System
  • Schedule a summer cooling system tune up to help keep your HVAC system at peak performance and prevent future problems.
  • Change your air filter every three months. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes your system work harder to keep you comfortable
  • Choose a new ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat to get demonstrated energy savings and environmental benefits, reliable performance, and convenience, insight, and control.
  • If you have a manual or programmable thermostat, set the temperature up to save energy when you’re asleep or away from home. Follow the instructions and use the insulation materials included with your room ac to minimize costly and uncomfortable air leaks. ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners come with clear instructions and high-quality insulation to create a better seal and improve comfort and savings.
Be a Fan of Fans
  • ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fans move more air using less power. In the summer, use the ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. While standing directly under the ceiling fan you should feel a cool breeze. The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler. On hotter days, raising the thermostat by only two degrees and using a ceiling fan can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 14%.
  • Use an ENERGY STAR certified vent fan after a shower to reduce humidity.
Look for the ENERGY STAR
  • Make the cool choice with an ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner. You’ll get comfort, energy savings, and improved sealing and insulation around the unit—and it’ll cost about $70 per year to run!
  • ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners with connected functionality offer additional convenience, comfort, and energy savings, including the ability to:
    • Turn off the unit remotely using your phone or computer
    • Schedule changes to temperature settings based on your needs
    • Receive feedback on the energy use of the product
  • If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a model that has earned the ENERGY STAR could cut your cooling costs by 30%.
  • Replace those old, hot incandescent light bulbs with much cooler ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs. ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs produce about 70-90% less heat, so they’re safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
ENERGY STAR Certified Room AC
  • When the weather heats up, make the cool choice of a new ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner. ENERGY STAR room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy and, on average, cost about $70 per year to run.
  • Take advantage of improved insulation! New ENERGY STAR room air conditioners come with higher quality insulation materials, improving comfort and savings by allowing a better seal of the area between the unit and the window opening.
  • Remember, bigger is not always better! Make sure your room air conditioner is the right size for your space. An oversized unit is less effective and wastes energy.
  • ENERGY STAR room air conditioners with connected functionality offer you greater control over your comfort and your energy savings.
  • If all room air conditioners sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, the cost savings would grow to more than $350 million each year, preventing more than 6 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually – equivalent to the emissions from over 570,000 vehicles.
  • ENERGY STAR is the simple choice: save energy, save money and help protect the climate.
  • Visit gov/roomac to learn more.
  • New ENERGY STAR room air conditioners come with better materials and clearer instructions to improve sealing and insulation around the unit so costly and uncomfortable air leaks are minimized.
  • Your new ENERGY STAR room air conditioner comes with tight-fitting side panels, an innovative new design, to provide increased insulation effectiveness.
  • In addition to the high quality materials included with your new ENERGY STAR room air conditioner, you will also find clear instructions in the user guide that will help you get a tightly sealed installation, offering you the best energy savings and comfort.
  • Some ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners use a new EPA-approved refrigerant called R32, which has a much lower impact on the climate – two-thirds lower than the refrigerants used in other room air conditioners.
Proper Sizing/Installation
  • Proper sizing of your room air conditioner is key to saving.  An oversized air conditioner is actually less effective — and wastes energy at the same time. Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from the air. If the unit is too large, it will cool the room quickly, but only remove some of the humidity. This leaves the room with a damp, clammy feeling. A properly sized unit will remove humidity effectively as it cools.
  • An improperly installed room air conditioner leaks as much air as a 6 square inch hole, increasing energy costs and making your home less comfortable. Closely following installation instructions can ensure effectiveness and energy savings.
In Cooler Months
  • If possible, remove the room air conditioner at the end of the cooling season to minimize heat loss during the winter.
  • A through-the-wall room air conditioner cannot easily be removed, so consider installing an appropriately sized cover over it during winter months to provide additional insulation and air sealing.
  • ENERGY STAR room air conditioners with connected functionality offer consumers additional convenience, comfort and energy-savings, including the ability to turn off the unit remotely using your phone or computer, schedule changes to temperature settings based on your needs, and receive feedback on the energy use of the product.
  • These products are also ‘smart-grid ready’, potentially allowing you to take advantage of special energy bill savings programs some local utilities are starting to offer.
ENERGY STAR Certified Smart Thermostats

For the average American household, almost half of the annual energy bill goes to heating and cooling – more than $900 a year. Being smart about how you control your temperature settings with an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat will help you save money and stay comfortable in your home.

What is a smart thermostat?A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that can automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance.  Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to save energy.

  • Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to deliver reliable performance and energy savings.
  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats provide convenience, insight and control. While system designs vary, common smart thermostat features include:
    • Learning the temperature that you like and establishing a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away.
    • Providing home energy use data that you can track and manage.
    • Allowing you to control home heating and cooling remotely through your smartphone.
  • ENERGY STAR smart thermostats are third-party certified to:
    • Accurately measure temperature.
    • Quickly entering a low-power standby mode when inactive.
    • Track and report equipment use and temperature data to the homeowner.
    • Provide tailored functionality and service that delivers energy savings that make sense for the individual homeowner.
  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats provide enhanced comfort in your home by allowing you to control temperatures based on your preferences and lifestyle – and still save energy. If everyone used an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat, savings would grow to 56 trillion BTUs of energy and $740 million dollars per year, offsetting 13 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

When to get it: This program is currently available.

Save Even More with Utility Rebates
  • Utilities or efficiency programs in your area may offer rebates on ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats.
  • In addition, in some areas, homeowners with smart thermostats can participate in utility programs that support reliable power for everyone, and earn financial rewards for it.
ENERGY STAR: The Smart Choice
  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats: The smart choice made simple.
  • When choosing a smart thermostat for your home, look for the ENERGY STAR.ENERGY STAR smart thermostats are “certified smart” through independent testing so you can trust that ENERGY STAR will deliver on what you expect from smart thermostat technology.
  • Smart Thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR offer:
    • Demonstrated Energy Savings
    • Reliable Performance
    • Environmental Benefits
    • Convenience, Insight and Control
Lesson Plans
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Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, Lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!