You don’t have to sacrifice comfort to lower your cooling costs so you can see a smaller utility bill. You just have to make these money-saving moves:
1. Use fans.
According to the Consumer Energy Center of California, sitting in front of a fan can make you feel four degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler. While that’s good to know, it’s also great news that fans can be less costly than an air conditioner.
Not only can fans cost less to purchase or fix, but they can also cost less to run.
Set up several fans in your home, and you should feel it cool down without getting sticker shock from your electricity bill.
To keep your bill as low as possible, be sure to turn off any fans in unoccupied rooms.
2. Layer down.
While adding layers to your clothing during the winter can keep you warm, the opposite is true during warmer months.
The less clothing you wear around the house, the cooler it will be, making you rely on the AC unit less.
3. Close the curtains.
Sunlight can heat your home quickly. The more you can keep out, the more refreshing and comfortable your house will feel inside.
How much heat can keeping the curtains open add to a house? According to some, as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
That’s a huge difference that can put a burden on your cooling system, so keep those curtains closed as much as possible.
4. Avoid the oven.
Using the oven to cook can spread excess heat to the rest of your home.
Instead of the oven, try cooking on the grill outdoors or use the microwave. A slow cooker will suffice as well.
If you use the stove, be sure to turn a fan on to blow out any hot air.
5. Avoid incandescent light bulbs.
These old fashioned forms of lighting produce more heat than light. By replacing them with longer-lasting and more energy-efficient LED or compact fluorescent bulbs, you can keep your home cooler without being in the dark.
6. Seal gaps around doors and windows.
You want to keep as much cold air in your home as possible. The more that escapes, the more your AC will have to work overtime to maintain a lower temperature.
Look around your home. If you see any windows or doors that have gaps near the frames, seal them with weather stripping or caulk to keep cold air from escaping.
As a bonus, doing this will also help during the winter if it gets cold where you live. Outdoor cold air will be blocked from coming indoors, which could cause you to run up heating costs.
7. Use a programmable thermostat.
While installing a programmable thermostat will have an upfront cost, it can save you money in the long run.
Buy one that lets you set a schedule. For example, when you’re not home and working or running errands, you can set the thermostat at a higher temperature. Once back, it can be lowered to keep you cool.