Simple Ways to Save on Air Conditioning Costs

••• Photo ¬© Erin Huffstetler

Small changes around the house can significantly reduce your air conditioning costs. Make over your home and your electric bill with these money-saving tips:

  • keep lamps and other heat producers away from the thermostat. They'll cause your air conditioner to run more than it needs to
  • upgrade to CFL or LED bulbs. They generate significantly less heat than incandescent bulbs
  • turn off lights when not in use. Even CFL bulbs produce some heat
  • minimize the use of your oven. Microwaves, crockpots and toaster ovens are great warm-weather stand-ins
  • Wait until after the sun goes down to run your dishwasher, dryer and other heat-producing appliances
  • line-dry your clothes to avoid using the dryer all together
  • minimize the use of rock, cement and asphalt on the south and west sides of your house
  • plant for shade near your condenser unit. Cooler outdoor air means your HVAC system won't have to work as hard to cool your home
  • keep curtains and blinds closed during the heat of the day
  • use Smart Strips to turn off electronics that aren't in use. Anything that draws power also produces heat
  • insulate ductwork in attics, crawlspaces, garages and other unconditioned spaces
  • install reflective window tint on windows that get a lot of sun to minimize heat absorption
  • plant fast-growing shade trees along the south and west side of your house
  • get a yearly maintenance check of your system and change the filter regularly. A well-tuned system will run more efficiently
  • install a programmable thermostat. Then, set it to bump up the temperature when you aren't home