Here in the Midwest – we’ve been experiencing some pretty hot and humid weather that is keeping our AC buzzing. While air conditioning is a huge blessing – it is also a huge money sucker. According to “Mr. Electricity” – Michael Bluejay – the AC uses more electricity than anything else in the home (16% to be exact).
But, there are ways to save money on your air conditioning bills. Here are a few that will help ease your pain too.
1. Keep the temperature higher.
When it’s hot outside we keep the temperature on the thermostat at around 78-80 degrees. This may seem pretty warm to some – but it’s really not bad. Especially when it is 90 or so out! Raise the temperature and you’ll be sure to save some coin.
2. Be sure your air conditioner is free of debris and other matter.
To ensure you are saving the most money when you are cooling your house, you’ll want to make sure that your AC is performing at its highest potential. One way to do this is to check that your condenser (the big “fan” that is typically outside your house or hanging out your window) is free of any particles or obstacles. Ours typically gets clogged with “cotton” from trees, grass clippings and other plants.
3. Check your AC’s energy efficiency ratio (EER).
Because they are such money hoggers – you want to be sure your air conditioning unit is energy efficient. Basically, the older your unit is, the less likely it is operating at an efficient level. Investing in a newer AC will pay dividends in the long run.
4. Watch what you place near your thermostat.
Everyone has the thermostat in different locations throughout their home. Keep in mind these are taking the temperature of the air around it. If you have a lamp or other heat-generating appliance nearby, it can fool the thermostat so that it never automatically shuts off the AC.
5. Try not to set the thermostat at a colder than normal temperature to “quicken” cooling.
Thinking you’ll cool the house faster by turning the temperature way down on the thermostat – just isn’t true. Plus, you may actually forget to turn the temperature up when your house cools down (costing you more money).
6. Use your AC with a ceiling fan.
The US Department of Energy has stated the use of a fan with the AC unit will help in keeping your house cool. We have a ceiling fan in our kitchen that we run during those hot days. The thing to keep in mind if you run yours too, is to make sure the fan is blowing the air down and not up. Your fan should have a setting where you can switch directions of the blades. Generally a counter-clockwise motion will be pushing air down.
7. Close vents in rooms that are hardly used.
It’s fairly obvious that if your AC unit has to cool more area in your home – the more you’ll be shelling out to the electric company. To ensure you aren’t overpaying – be sure you’re only cooling rooms that are in use. We close doors and vents to some of the rooms we rarely frequent.
8. Close those drapes!
A simple – but effective solution to keep the house cool without much effort is making sure those drapes are closed in the house. According to Bluejay, direct sunlight can raise the temp of a room 10-20%!
9. Turn the thermostat up at night.
Generally the temp at night-time is quite cooler than daytime temperatures. I remember when I lived in California – the drops were severe! Set the thermostat higher before you go to bed and you’ll save.
10. Are you properly insulated?
Having insufficient insulation can cost you money. Lots of your cool air can escape if you aren’t properly “covered” up. We recently put in more insulation and have definitely noticed the difference on our electric bill.
Are there any ways you save on air conditioning costs? Let us know in the comments below!