7 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

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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.

Air Conditioning2. 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?


Image via Renata Ganoza/Flickr

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eupeptic eupeptic

Open the windows and have one or more fans blowing air out one (or more) of them during the night so you can take advantage of the cool air during the night. I've been doing this for years and it helps cool down the house down to about 62-65 degrees by the morning (as long as the nights aren't too warm, which they usually aren't), and it usually ends up being around 72-76 degrees by the evening (on days when it's between 80 to 95 degrees outside) without using the central air conditioning (which needs to have its refrigerant recharged).

nonmember avatar mdw

i didnt know about #7 & the fans on humid days. I try for as many crock pot meals as possible lol Or one skillet meals. We have a skillet we can plug in & it seems to put off less heat than the stove. i hang my clothes out to dry during the day & put them in the dryer either late at night or early in the morning to fluff them & make them soft & get the lint off :)

Scott Davis

Open your windows at night is wasteful. The high humidity at nights penetrates everything in your house. When you turn your ac back on in the day you have to remove all that extra humidity.

What will save you most is replacing your old central ac with a more eff. model. You can have a 16 or higher SEER unit installed and cut your cooling costs by half.

If a properly sized ac is installed you can keep the thermostat set at a higher temp and still feel comfortable because the humidity will be lower. A properly sized system (much smaller than what you think) will only be able to maintain temp and not be able to cool the house on a design temp day. So setting the thermostat and forgoing it is the proper way to run it.

Also get rid of the window shakers and install central. Some companies specialize in retrofits for houses without central air.

As you can tell, this is what I do for a living.

Emily Victor

Yes we can save money on Air Conditioning and this is not so hard, just follow this article properly. As a contractor of air conditioning I just want to say you more on it. Please do not open your windows and doors unnecessarily. Replace compressor of the air conditioner after 2 years. If possible then plant enough trees near or around your home.

Robert Jones

Nice post.Thanks for sharing,in my opinion if you follow the above tips,definitely your going to save some money on air conditioners.

Sophia Castella

Your article tells us how can we save money on air condition, I am glad to read your article, it really helpful for me and for all those people who want to save money. Best seven ways to save money on air conditions.

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