Consider Lowering Your Cooling Needs

Your first instinct for cooling your home may be to use air conditioning; however, relying on air conditioning alone to keep cool can lead to higher energy bills. A few ways to lower your home’s cooling load include shading your windows and increasing your home’s insulation.

When you need air conditioning, you can improve the efficiency of your cooling equipment and save on energy bills. Consider these basic tips to keep your air conditioning system in shape;

  • Regularly replace or clean the air filters.
  • Check and clean the evaporator coils annually.
  • Sealing and insulating central air ducts.
  • Keep cool air from escaping by properly sealing room air conditioners in windows.

If your air conditioner is older, purchasing new high efficiency cooling equipment will help you use substantially less energy. Work with a participating DCSEU HVAC contractor to determine what system is best suited to your home.

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Tips for Cooling Down This Summer

Before you upgrade your cooling equipment, consider the most cost-effective way to save money and energy on cooling–reducing your air conditioning needs. This can be done in several ways:

What You Can Do

How it Will Help

How Expensive Is It?

Delay heat-producing tasks

Wait to do any dishwashing, baking, or laundry, until the cooler evening or early morning hours.

No cost

Keep cool air in & hot air out

When it’s cooler outside than inside, open your windows. When it’s warmer outside than inside, close your windows and draw window coverings against direct sunlight.

No cost

Use energy-efficient light bulbs, such as CFLs or LEDs

Incandescent light bulbs lose 90% of their energy as heat.


Use fans (ceiling, table, floor, or wall-mounted)

Fans circulate air in a room, creating a wind-chill effect that makes you more comfortable in hot weather.


Use bath fans

Removes heat and moisture generated by showers.


Plant shade trees

Planting leafy shade trees on the east and west sides of your home will block heat and sunlight.


Install and use a whole house fans

Pulls air in through windows and exhausts warm air from the attic and roof.


Insulate and air seal

Prevents heat from entering your house.


Get Started


Cooling equipment must be installed by a DCSEU Participating Contractor in order to qualify for rebates. Contractors must have a valid DC Master Ref/AC license to offer cooling rebates. If your contractor is not listed, please ask them to contact the DCSEU to enroll.

Qualifying Product

Qualifying Efficiency Level

Rebate Amount

Central Air Conditioning CEE Tier 2

≥ 16 SEER and ≥ 13 EER


Central Air Conditioning CEE Tier 3

≥ 18 SEER and ≥ 13 EER


Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning

≥ 18 SEER and ≥ 12.5 EER


Apply for your rebate online


Work with your DCSEU participating contractor to find out which equipment is eligible for rebates, or have your contractor of choice sign up as a participating contractor. Apply for a rebate online if you have worked with a participating contractor to install qualifying equipment. Equipment must be installed on or after 10/1/17 to qualify for rebates. For more information, contact us at 202-479-2222 or

Become a DCSEU Participating Contractor

For more information visit our Contracting Opportunities page

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