Nearly 90% of US homes are equipped with an air conditioning (AC) unit, according to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, With so many people trying to keep things cool, it’s estimated that U.S. homeowners are spending more than $29 billion per year on air conditioning. Yikes!
If you want to keep your house feeling fresh and comfy but you also want to reduce your AC bill, then check out our list of seven ways to save on air conditioning.
1. Get a programmable thermostat
This is a super simple way to save money. A programmable thermostat allows you to program your air conditioning based on your specific needs. If you know you’re going to be out of the house for big chunks of the day, you can program your thermostat to raise the temperature a few degrees while you’re out, allowing you to save energy and money.
2. Maintain your air conditioner
Even if you keep a super tidy home the filters in your AC unit will inevitably accumulate hair and dust over time. When the filters get clogged your air conditioner has to work harder to do its job, and the harder it works, the more you pay.
In addition to changing the filters, it’s important to have your air conditioner serviced on a regular basis. And if you notice any issues with your air conditioner, make sure you call a professional in a timely fashion to ensure that your AC unit is running efficiently.
3. Upgrade your old AC unit
If you’re using an air conditioner that is 10 years or older, you could potentially save 20%-40% of your cooling energy costs by installing a new, energy-efficient model, according to the Department of Energy. It is recommended that you look for units with ENERGY STAR or EnergyGuide labels as they are more efficient than the standard models and more efficient can equal more savings.
4. Seal all cracks and holes
If you want to save money on AC then make sure you aren’t allowing any of that lovely cool air to escape through cracks in the windows or doors. This is an easy DIY fix. Buy some caulking and seal any holes or cracks that you can find.
5. Close the curtains
If you haven’t treated your windows to some sort of covering (curtains, blinds, tinfoil … whatever works), then it’s time to invest. Your AC will be forced to work overtime if the sun is streaming through the uncovered windows and heating things up all day.
6. Use your fans
Depending on how hot it is you might be able to get away with shutting the AC off and just using a combination of fans. If it’s too sweltering, or you just really love your AC, you can still employ your ceiling fans to help keep costs down.
The use of a well-positioned ceiling fan will allow you to increase the temperature of your AC by 4 degrees Fahrenheit without causing you any additional discomfort. So, if you have a ceiling fan, start using it. It helps to circulate the air-conditioned air and keep things feeling cool. To be energy conscious, remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room.
7. Cook outside
Don’t heat things up from the inside of the house. Instead of turning on the oven or cooking on the stove, take it outside to the bbq. Or, use your pressure cooker or slow cooker to keep the temperature in the kitchen to a minimum.
Keep it cheap while keeping things cool
Depending on where you live the cost of running the air conditioning to keep things cool can be really expensive. If your goal is to try and reduce the amount you spend on air conditioning without compromising your comfort, then try employing some (or all) of these tips and see how much you can save.
–By Jessica Martel