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7 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

Posted by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM
  • 7 Replies

7 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

by Adriana Velez

air conditionerIt's a momentous summer for me: This is the summer I ditch my old, gigantic, robot-sized air conditioner and install a smaller, more powerful AC. I was starting to get excited about this summertime life-saver when a horrible thought stopped me in my tracks: OMG, electric bill. I forgot. Every summer I get to watch my power bill reach astronomical heights during NYC's many epic heatwaves. Will this year be the same? 

Time to read up on a few energy- and money-saving tips for air conditioners!

1. Keep adjusting your thermostat. If you have central air, let your home get warmer during the day when everyone is out (for example). If it's just a little hot, set it so it's just a little cool. No need to blast the thing if it's not even that hot out. Don't consider that one ideal temperature a permanent number for the entire summer -- heat and cold are relative.

2. Clean the air filter. A dirty air filter makes your AC run less efficiently, which means you're spending more money to run it.

3. Get the right-sized AC unit. Use Energy Star's guide to buy the right-sized AC unit for your room. A smaller unit will use less energy and cost you less.

4.  Get some shade up around your house. Planting trees, shrubs, and other shady plants near your windows will keep the sun from shining directly into windows. This will help keep your house cooler so you don't have to run your AC as much.

5. Invest in solar screens. These are screens that block out 70 percent of the solar energy from entering your house. They'll eventually pay for themselves.

6. Cool it in the kitchen. Avoid baking during a heat wave. I don't want to tell you not to cook, either ... but maybe try some lower-heat meals, like salads and sandwiches. The less heat you create in your home, the less you have to spend on cooling it.

7. Adjust the fan speed. On high humidity days, set the AC fan on low. The slower speed actually removes more moisture from the air. Set the fan on high on drier days.

Do you have any money-saving tips for running your AC?

by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM
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Replies (1-7):
Lindalou907
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I'm thinking of having a "Whole house fan" installed. As soon as the temps cool in the evening you open the windows,turn that thing on and it sucks out all the hot air out and brings in cool air. I also try to keep the AC at 78 during the day when I'm home and 80 if I go out.

AzariahsMother
by Lynsey on Jun. 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

tfs

AzariahsMother
by Lynsey on Jun. 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

I don't use this much just because of the cost.

Moki75
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I have window units in a mobile home in West Texas.  I try not to run them unless I need them but yea we hit 111 the other day.  

SunfairyChrise
by Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 5:27 AM

I am glad you brought this up my son sleeps upstairs any tips for making it cooler there?

jules8289
by on Jul. 9, 2013 at 6:39 AM

We keep our ceiling and other fans going while the a/c is on. We also close off rooms and their register vents that we don't use much or not at all. We keep the blinds/curtains closed for the windows that get the hot sun at the end of the day since it seems thats when the heat really gets nasty. We keep our bedroom door closed upstairs until it's almost bedtime. When I open it I have a small fan on the floor in the hall near a register and I blow cold air in there for the night. During the day I keep that little floor fan pointed downstairs. And keep a clean air filter in the furnace and the coils clean on the a/c unit. It's a bit of work but it pays off. The house is comfortable and the a/c doesn't run like crazy. 

matreshka
by Valerie on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Thnaks for #7 I did not know that.

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