It's really starting to heat up in parts of the country, which for us means that our air conditioner runs almost non-stop (especially on those 110 degree days!). But, you don't have to settle for super high electricity bills. Here are 7 tips for saving money on air conditioning.
Set your thermostat a degree or two higher than normal for your family
In our house, we set the thermostat for 78. Of course, during the super hot months (July and August), the air conditioner runs pretty consistently even set at 78.
You don't want to be uncomfortable just to save a few bucks, but experiment with different temperatures to see if you can raise the temperature. If you are lying on the couch with a blanket over you while the air conditioner is on, you can likely increase the temperature.
Use ceiling fans
We have ceiling fans in each of our family rooms and bedrooms to cool the rooms even more. Be sure your fans are rotating counter clockwise to force the cool air down. And, make sure to turn the fans off when you're not in the room.
Install a programmable thermostat
If everyone is away from home during the day, you can program your thermostat at a higher temperature during the day and then schedule it to cool the house back down right before you return home. Try to avoid raising or lowering the temperature more than 4 degrees. Otherwise, your system will have to work twice as hard to get back to the original temperature.
Avoid heating up the house
Running the oven during the summer can heat up the entire house. Consider grilling or using your slow cooker to cook your meals during the hot months to avoid using the oven.
Clean or replace your furnace filter as recommended
When you have a dirty air filter, your air conditioning unit has to work that much harder to get air through the system. Make sure you change your air filter as needed. For some filters that will be once every month. We buy a high quality air filter that we change twice a year when our AC person comes out to service our air conditioning unit/heat pump.
Clean and service your AC unit each year
Your air conditioner will run more efficiently if it's been professionally serviced during the year. Plus, it will likely extend the service life of your AC unit.
We get a maintenance contract with our AC company each year. They come out and service and clean our system twice per year (in the spring before the AC gets a workout and in the fall before the heat pump gets a workout). Plus, we can preempt any repairs that need to be made.
Do energy-saving improvements
You might need more insulation in your attic or would benefit from a radiant barrier. If you have a really old unit, you'll likely get energy improvements with a new energy efficient unit. Or you can add solar screens or window films to help your windows reflect heat rather than absorb it.
What about you? How to do you save money on air conditioning at your home?