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Your air conditioning service load can be lowered by taking a few steps that can help you reduce the “cooling load” in your home. Your “cooling load” is the amount of energy your air conditioning service uses to cool your home. The most efficient way to reduce this load and trim your energy bills is to prevent your home from heating up during the day.

Shield Your Windows
To block the heat but let in the light, apply a sun-control film to your windows or install fabric sunscreen blinds. Outdoor awnings and rolling blinds also keep the heat out. Indoors, choose window treatments with white or metallic-backed surfaces that reflect the sun’s rays.

Create Less Heat
When possible, keep your lights off during the day. Switch to CFL or LED bulbs, which generate less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs do. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket to limit the heat it emits. All this heat builds up, which keeps your air conditioning service running.

Seal Air Leaks
In summer, air leaks in your home let in hot outdoor air. You can significantly boost your air conditioning service and lower your cooling load by stopping major leaks. Check your door and window frames for cracks and seal any with weatherstripping. Also look for leaks around electrical outlets, plumbing lines and exhaust fans.

Improve Your Attic Insulation
Insulation in the attic slows the transfer of outdoor heat into your home. Experts from the federal Energy Star program recommend 10 to 14 inches of insulation, depending on the type. Most insulation doesn’t block airflow, though. Before you add insulation, find and repair any air leaks.

Seal your HVAC ducts
Leaky ductwork allows conditioned air to escape before it reaches your home’s living areas. When you seal those leaks, your air conditioning service will cool more efficiently, using between 10 to 50 percent less energy. If you’re not sure how to find and seal leaks, an air conditioning service expert can help.