Six Simple Ways to Cut Your Air Conditioning Bill This Summer

cutting air conditioning bills in summerHot under the collar from your electric bills during the summer months? Here are six simple ideas that can help you save on air conditioning while still keeping your house or apartment cool during the dog days.

Cool Selectively
Shut off the air conditioners when you’re not in the room. Sounds simple, but if you have central air, it’s not always the first thing on your mind when you leave the house for a few hours.

If you have units, shutting them off when you leave the room can become as much of a habit as shutting off the light.

Try Fans
Until the weather becomes unbearably hot, use fans. Fans cost much less to run than air conditioners do. And while they won’t cool off an entire room the way central air or window units will, installing a powerful fan instead of a light fixture will help you take advantage of those not-too-hot days.

Since fans cool people, not rooms, they should be turned off whenever you’re not in the room.

Check Your Insulation
Is your house well-insulated? Good insulation will make a difference in how hard your air conditioner works to keep your home cool.  The one-time cost of having an expert come to your home for an insulation assessment can be more than paid off from HVAC savings over the years.

Keep Your Filters Clean
Clean and replace filters at least once a month so your air conditioner operates as efficiently as possible.  It’s an easy and cheap fix that can improve HVAC performance and air quality.T

Monitor Your Appliances
Many common appliances let off heat when used that can increase the temperature in rooms — forcing your air conditioning unit to work just that much harder to cool a space.  Cut back on heat-generating appliances and incandescent light bulbs (which add heat to your home) as much as possible during the hottest parts of the day.

Mind the Cracks/strong>
Cracks along windows, door frames, and electrical outlets cause your air conditioner to work harder in the summer, and your heater to work harder in the winter. Take the time to seal and caulk any possible openings in your home so you don’t waste money air conditioning the great outdoors.

Saving money on air conditioning doesn’t have to mean sweating through a hot, uncomfortable summer.  With a little thought and planning, you’ll be able to keep your energy bills under control while still staying cool.

Photo by DenisDenis / CC-BY 2.0

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