Letting your AC crank on full blast during the hot summer months can run up your electric bill pretty fast, but if you take these precautions you will keep more cash in your pocket.
- Patch up cracks and holes. Do a walk through your house and check for drafty windows, holes or cracks in the walls that are allowing air to escape. Go to a home improvement store and buy some caulk to repair these problem areas. Cracks are especially prevalent around window-unit air conditioners because they are not fitted to the window perfectly.
- Clean your air filters. Did you know that air conditioners are forced to run much longer throughout the day due to dirty and clogged air filters? You will be surprised at how much faster and more efficiently your unit will work after a good scrub.
- Unplug unused appliances. The small appliances you don’t even thing about – your toaster, coffee maker, or cell phone charger, for example – all take small amounts of energy just by being plugged in. These appliances are leeching money right out of your wallet. Just unplug when you’re not using it!
- Keep your shades closed. This might seem obvious, but the difference in temperature from having your blinds closed vs. open all day is astonishing. When you’re at work or running errands, keep your shades shut.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. Program your thermostat to run higher when you’re at work and cooler once you’re home. Only pay for the cool air that you will actually get to enjoy!
- Upgrade your AC unit. It’s no shocker that most new models are much more energy-efficient than older units, so make the upgrade and reap the benefits within your first month’s bill.
- Turn off lights. Everything should be shut off if you are not currently in the room. Just remember to abide by this habit.
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs. They generate a lot less heat than traditional light bulbs, saving you money on utilities and also cooling your house in the process.
- Use cold water to wash. Every load of laundry or dish you wash will be much more energy-efficient if you use cold water. These little things add up over the course of the summer!
- Dry your laundry outside. You will save energy by not using your dryer, and it will keep your laundry room/bathroom cooler.