There are many, many ways to help keep your cooling costs down in the summer. Below, we’ve picked the top three. They represent common sense ideas that won’t cost you additional money. Doing all three of the below will help ensure you can reap some extra savings on your cooling bill.
Tip #1: Close your blinds.
Whatever your window treatments, you’ll see significant savings if you work to prevent solar heat gain by keeping your blinds, shades, or curtains drawn all day. When completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain in your house. Thus, creating less of a demand on your thermostat. Try to use light-colored treatments: The lighter the hue, the more they’ll deflect the sun’s scorching rays. Hang shades as close to windowpanes as possible, as this enables them to also block outdoor heat from radiating inside. Consider insulated and/or reflective shades, which will also save you money come heating season.
Tip #2: Use fans.
It can make you feel 6 or 7 degrees cooler via the wind-chill effect: A fan doesn’t cool a room, it just cools people. Remember to turn off the fan when no one’s enjoying it. Otherwise, you waste electricity. If you also use an air conditioner, a ceiling fan helps disperse cooled air more efficiently and allows you to raise your thermostat by as much as 4 degrees, with little or no discomfort.
Tip #3: Make sure your air conditioner is running efficiently.
It’s not enough to use an energy-efficient AC and install a programmable thermostat. If you don’t properly care for your equipment, it won’t reduce your cooling costs. Dirty AC filters block airflow and make units work harder to cool your home. Cleaning and/or replacing filters once per month will lower an AC’s energy consumption by 5% or more. If you have a central cooling system, be sure that floor registers aren’t blocked with dust—or furniture. A unit’s evaporator and condenser coils (located outside) should also be clear of dirt and other debris (fallen leaves, branches, grass). And clip foliage so that it always remains at least 2 feet from the condenser.