5 Ways to Cut Your Air Conditioning Costs!
It’s MONEY MONDAY with Savings Gal! Temperatures are rising as summer approaches, but that doesn’t mean that your air conditioning bill has to. There are several ways to keep cool this summer without “sweating” over that energy bill!
Since the US Department of Energy reports that over half of a household’s energy usage goes towards heating and cooling, it’s important to take a look at saving money in these areas anyway. Here is a list of 5 ways to cut your air conditioning costs during those warm spring and summer months.
- Set That Thermostat!
Set your air conditioning thermostat as high as possible without making you too uncomfortable. When you are gone during the day for work or other activities, set your thermostat higher than normal. If you have a programable thermostat, this is very easy to do because you can set it for different temperatures for different times during the day and even for different times each day of the week. According to Geoff Goodwin (the division vice president of Emerson, the country’s largest provider of heating and cooling systems) programmable thermostats can save consumers up to 30 percent on their household energy costs (about $250-$300 per year).
*If you have a programable thermostat and aren’t sure how to operate it, check out the Energy Star Website for their video on Thermostat Operating Instructions.
- Close Those Blinds and Drapes!
During the day when the sun is out, close those blinds and drapes. Anything that keeps the sun out of your house will help your air conditioning unit maintain a cooler temperature inside your house. The less you use your air conditioner, the less greenhouse effect you have on this earth and the less you contribute to global warming.
- Turn on Those Fans!
Turning on a ceiling fan or other circulating fans in the room you are in will cool you down using the wind chill factor. According to the US Department of Energy, if your air conditioner is on, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
*Remember to turn your fans off when you leave a room because fans cool people, not rooms.
- Keep That Oven Off!
On really hot days, try to avoid using your oven. The oven heats up your house even more and causes your air conditioner to kick on more frequently. Instead use the stove, microwave, an outdoor grill, or a slow cooker to cook your meals.
*Slow cookers are energy-sippers compared to most other cooking methods like a traditional oven, stove-top, or toaster oven. Slow cookers use just 100 watts of electricity, which means that if you use it once a week for eight hours at a time, it’ll only cost you about TWENTY CENTS a month in electricity! Now that’s FRUGALICIOUS!
- Clean Those Filters!
Cleaning your air conditioner filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by as much as 15%. Clogged and dirty air filters block the normal air flow to your air conditioner, which causes the air conditioner to work harder.
*If you need help locating your air conditioner unit filter, check out the US Department of Energy’s Air Conditioner Filters Maintenance article.
Because there is more than one way to save!