Tips for Saving Money on Air Conditioning.
Give Your Budget a Break With These Tips for Saving Money on Air Conditioning
It's hot and staying cool costs money. But you can take control of your electricity bill by taking a few steps to maximize your air conditioning efficiency and reducing waste.
Check Your Windows
Make sure your windows are properly sealed. If you use window air conditioning units, check for any areas around the unit that could be letting hot air in and leaking cool air out. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal leaks.
Maintain Your Units
Change the air filter on your units at least once a season and consider upgrading to an energy efficient model if you've had your unit for a few years. Newer units are more efficient and often have "energy saver" modes that turn the fan off when the goal temperature is reached.
Avoid Using Appliances While the A/C Is Running
Easy to say, but often hard to do, not using your stove, oven, dishwasher or washer and dryer while the air conditioning is running will cut electricity costs. Every time you use an appliance your living space gets warmer. Try running the dishwasher before you go to bed, and wash clothes during off-peak heat hours, such as early in the morning.
Because using the stove contributes heat to your living space, cooking outside gives your a/c a break and saves electricity the stove would have used. Plan at least two meals a week in advance that you can grill in a flash, like simple grilled chicken with new potatoes. Also plan a salad or other cold dish for one or two meals a week, and you'll cut your stove and oven use in half.
Use a Ceiling Fan
Install ceiling fans to make rooms more comfortable at higher temps. Either you'll be able to turn off the air conditioning completely or, during peak heat, set the thermostat higher and combine the a/c with a ceiling fan to use less energy.
Use Common Sense
Turn off lights when you're out of the house and pull drapes over windows to block sun exposure. Turn off computers and unplug chargers. If you're using window units, close off rooms that you're not using while the a/c is running. Close vents in rooms used less often.