If you’re dreading that first electric bill with the air conditioner running all month, here are some quick tips that will help reduce the costs of cooling your home. Most are simple, but cost nothing so if you incorporate all that you can, you’ll see some savings without much real effort or expense on your part.
1. Turn your ceiling fans on and make sure they are blowing downward (when looking up at the fan, it should be spinning counter clockwise). Moving air will speed the evaporation of moisture from your skin making you feel cooler.
2. Wait until after dark to run your dishwasher, dryer or other heat producing appliances.
3. Avoid using your oven by grilling outside, microwaving or using a crock pot when possible.
4. Keep solar heat out by closing blinds and drapes on windows that the sun shines in.
5. Change the filter in your air conditioner regularly to keep it running efficiently.
6. Minimize the use of rock, cement and asphalt that hold heat on the south and west sides of your house.
7. Make sure your air conditioning vents are not covered by furniture or draperies.
8. Turn off lights and computers when not in use. They not only produce heat, but they use electricity.
9. Close vents in unused rooms and close the doors to these rooms too to avoid wasting cooled air on them. This essentially reduces the size of your home.
10. Set the fan speed of your air conditioner on high, except in very humid weather. The hotter the weather, the faster the fan should run. When very humid outside, set the fan speed on low; it will take longer to cool, but more moisture will be removed from the air and dryer air will make you feel cooler.