4 Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs this Summer

ways to cut ac costs

The Goodman in my backyard.

Running your air conditioning unit can get kind of expensive these days, especially if you’re anywhere like me in the mid-south.  It hits about 100F in the summer but registers like 115F on the heat index.  When I was little I used to think air conditioners were basically luxuries, ceiling fans too lol.

We never had either one of them and the only time I ever saw a window air conditioner was when we visited my grandparents in Wisconsin.  Everyone made SUCH a huge deal when the air conditioner was on that I thought it must be made of gold and diamonds.  Did someone just move a curtain and let sunlight in?  You did not just inhale some of the just cooled air did you Steven?

Money is tight now anyways right?  It is for me.  I have mentioned my psycho-ness about how I maintain my home temperature and thermostat settings in other posts.  This is primarily way to save on energy consumption.  I am not this green composting save the Earth guy, I’m save as much money as possible guy.  But I do compost so hush your mouth.  That’s because I garden.  To save money and get outside.  You can buy a pack of literally 3 million seeds for .08 cents so you do the math.

how to lower energy bill

The Honeywell programmable t-stat I installed when we moved in.

This post though is about about easy ways we can reduce how much we run the air conditioning unit.  While I am quite satisfied with the services of my city utilities, it’s all inclusive, there is a definite marked price jump during the summer despite me running my unit minimally.  The price of buying energy is out of control and they kind of got us by the nose don’t they?

There are a few things, simple I promise, we can do to decrease energy consumption.

Even if you do just ONE of these, you’ll be saving a little somewhere.  And that adds up, month after month.  Nothing wrong with trying to keep more money in your pocket while simultaneously conserving natural resources.

Here are four great ways to beat the heat without taking a financial beating.

Four Ways to Reduce Air Conditioning Costs

1) Don’t run the AC when you’re not there.

Does this need to be explained even?  Why wouldn’t you want to do this?

Because a certain paternal person in my life ahem cough cough would come to your house and murder you is why you do want to.

Why are you paying for your air conditioner to cool your home while you’re at work? Unless you feel an overwhelming urge to maintain a seventy-two degree temperature for your houseplants, adjust the thermostat when you walk out the door in the morning. Better yet, buy and install a programmable thermostat. If you’re sickened by the idea of coming home to a blast furnace, again, buy a thermostat that will pre-cool your space just before you get home.

Tell you what, if you make one change and get a programmable thermostat and run into difficulties installing it, return here and we can try to get through it via email or comments.

2) Protect your air conditioner from the heat.

Air conditioners run far more efficiently when they’re not getting destroyed by the rays of the sun. If you can position your unit in the shade or provide shade with shrubbery, fencing, or trees you can cut your energy consumption considerably. A word of warning, though. In order for the AC to do its job, it needs good air circulation. Protect your cooling system, but never do anything to restrict airflow.

3) Live a cooler life indoors.

Maybe your active lifestyle actually promotes heating your home.  If so, your air conditioning unit is going to need to work that much harder to keep things cool.

Stop running your clothes dryer when it’s hot. Consider a cookout instead of heating the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees. Quit having band practice in the living room next to the running, muted flat screen TV and computer.

If you’re about to use a major appliance that generates heat, try to come up with an alternative, especially if it’s already too hot for you.

4) Trim the fat.

If you have rooms that you don’t really use, close the doors. Close the air conditioner vents. Don’t waste the cold air on an empty basement or guest room. No one is going to enjoy it and you’re certainly going to regret it when the electric company sends the monthly bill.

Just remember to open any vents back up if guests come over.  Not only will they appreciate the air flow but then my Dad can yell down them and tell you when it’s time for dinner.  Or you can talk to any sisters through them when you’re grounded.

That is it.  Even if you do just one of these…

Just one. You can reduce the amount of money you spend to maintain a comfortable home.  None of these were really hard right?  How long would it take you to close of 2-3 vents in a basement?  5 minutes?  And then by not having to heat and cool that room, you’re probably saving at least $10 per month on that room.  $120 year.  That’s a night out, drinks for 2, good times.  40 gallons of gas.  Yeah.


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