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Summer to-do list for your energy efficient Finger Lakes home

Summer is a busy time here in the Finger Lakes, with weekend hiking and paddling in store for many of us. But it’s also a time to take care of things at home, especially if you cool your house with air conditioning – otherwise an unexpectedly high energy bill could take some of the fun out of your weekend getaways.

Here’s a checklist to help you get a handle on what needs to be done to keep your home running efficiently so you can enjoy some peace on the lake, trail, or wherever the summer winds take you.

Summer efficiency checklist

Cooling system

  • Get a tune-up to keep your A/C equipment running efficiently and reliably

Heating system


  • Setting your thermostat at 78 degrees when people are home will give you the best balance of comfort and energy savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Raise the temperature 6-7 degrees when no one is home to save even more money.


  • Close vents in unused rooms
  • Clear obstructions from vents to keep air moving
  • Check your A/C filter once a month, changing or cleaning it as necessary


  • Keep doors closed between conditioned and unconditioned spaces; check and replace seals around interior doors to keep conditioned air from escaping
  • Weatherize exterior doors to prevent hot outdoor air from entering
  • If you don’t have A/C, keep doors (and windows) open as often as possible to promote good airflow (run ceiling fans, too – see below)


  • Caulk exterior window frames to prevent hot outdoor air from entering
  • Clear window tracks so windows seal properly
  • If you don’t have A/C, keep windows open to promote good airflow

Window treatments

Ceiling fans

  • Run ceiling fans to keep air circulating. Do this even with your A/C running: by doing so you can raise your thermostat by 3-4 degrees with no loss in comfort, saving about 10-12 percent on your cooling bill
  • Be sure to reset the rotation of your fan blades to draw cooler air up into the room rather than pushing hot air back down (see manufacturer’s instructions for how to reverse the direction of your fan blades)


Water Heater



  • Test all alarms – smoke, CO, radon detectors, etc., replacing batteries if needed

Fireplace / Wood Stove

  • Close the damper to prevent heat from entering through the chimney 

Want to find more ways to save on energy bills throughout the year? Ehrhart can help. Contact us today to learn more about high efficiency equipment options for your Finger Lakes-area home!