Summer brings a lot of good times, but it can also come with high air conditioning bills. You want to stay cool and comfortable during the summer, but you also want to stay within your budget. This is possible. You just need to optimize your cooling situation, so you don't throw money down the drain. To save money on summer cooling, check out these tips.
1. Use your fans.
Fans circulate the cool air created by your air conditioner. This allows you to turn down the setting on the thermostat without reducing your comfort levels.
If you have ceiling fans, make sure they are spinning in a counterclockwise direction. Most ceiling fans can switch directions by flicking a small switch on the base of the fan. People use the clockwise direction to move hot air around their home during the winter, but that direction won't help you in the summer.
2. Don't use fans when you're not home.
While an AC changes the air in your home, a fan just moves the air. By extension, fans only create benefits when people are actually in the home. To save energy, turn off your fans when you leave home or even if you move out of a particular room.
3. Get into the 80s.
Everyone has different comfort levels, but creating a home that is so cold you have to wear a sweater wastes a lot of energy. The bigger the difference between the outside temperature and your home, the more energy your AC consumes.
Most ACs can only cool your home to a maximum of 20 degrees under the outside temperature, but for efficiency, a 10-degree difference is better. Ideally, you should put your thermostat in the 80s. Research indicates that a setting of 82 degrees saves energy while also keeping your home comfortable.
4. Turn up the thermostat when you're not at home.
In that same vein, turn up your thermostat when you leave home as well. If you turn up your thermostat, the air conditioning won't run as hard, and you will save some money on your home cooling bill. Similarly, if you have zoned AC or window AC units, you should turn up the zones that are not in use.
According to the Department of Energy, you can save 10% on your cooling bills by turning up your thermostat from 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours per day. Over time, those savings can add up and help you get out of debt. But, don't adjust your thermostat much more than 10 degrees. If you do, your AC will have to work too hard to cool down the home when you get home, and that will end up increasing your energy bill.
5. Invest in a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to set a schedule so you don't have to manually adjust the thermostat. This ensures you never forget to change the settings when you leave your home. Contact your energy company — sometimes, they offer rebates or discounts for these energy-saving devices.
6. Keep the blinds closed
The summertime sun is great, but if it's streaming into your home all day long, your AC will have to work harder and use more energy. Naturally, lower the temperature in your home by shutting your blinds during the day. If you want some natural light, try at least shutting the blinds on the south-facing windows that get the most sunlight.
7. Open the windows in climates with cool nights.
If you're lucky enough to live somewhere that cools off at night, take advantage of that free cool air. During the night, turn off the AC and open up the windows. Then, before the sun gets high in the morning, close in that cold air and shut out the bright light.
For more money-saving tips, check out next month's newsletter or look at our blogs. We're committed to helping you live a comfortable life that doesn't break your budget. Thanks and have a great summer!