Nothing feels worse than feeling like you’re living in a pressure cooker. Except maybe that bill that comes at the end of the month. The cost of cooling a home in the middle of summer is astronomical. Especially in some of the hottest areas of the country where cooling costs are easily a few hundred dollars per month.
Luckily, there are a few ways to save money on air conditioning by helping your air conditioner to run better, which will save you a little cash throughout the summer.
These low-cost (or no-cost) tips keep you cool, and save you money, as you beat the heat this summer.
1. Seal Windows and Doors
Most homeowners are losing precious cold air conditioning through unsealed windows and doors. An easy way to check for this is to go outside and run your hand along doors and windows to check for leaking cold air. If you notice a draft, make sure windows and doors are completely shut and freshly caulked around the edges.
Solar screens, window films, and mesh window screens are other options to save money on air conditioning by blocking up to 70 percent of solar energy before it gets into the house. As long as you keep your windows securely closed, these additions can make a big difference.
2. Proper Thermostat Placement
If your thermostat is placed on an exterior wall or near a window, it can register an incorrect reading and prematurely kick on your air conditioner more frequently. You’ll need an HVAC contractor to reposition your thermostat, but it might be worth the call to save money on air conditioning every year. This could also be a great time to upgrade to a smart thermostat which can help you regulate your temperature more carefully.
3. What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner in the Summer?
Before you head out for dinner or on vacation, turn off your air conditioner or turn the temperature up a few degrees. The smaller the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature, the more money you will save on air conditioning.
You can save 10 percent a year on your air conditioning bills by setting your thermostat just 10 to 15 degrees higher for eight hours each day, according to the Energy Office. The US Department of Energy recommends aiming for an indoor temperature of 78 degrees F when you’re not at home. Having a programmable thermostat, you can control from your phone makes this a lot easier to control your setting while you’re away and still ensure your home is comfortable when you arrive.