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5 Effortless Ways to Keep Your Summer Utility Bills Low

Want to take a chunk out of your air conditioning bills every month without too much effort?

Do these 5 things.

1) Be smart with your thermostat

While it may be more convenient to set your thermostat at one temperature and never touch it again, it’s also costly!

Instead, be smart with your thermostat temperature setting. You don’t need to cool your home as much when you’re not home, right? So set your thermostat at 78°F when you’re home and turn it up by 10 degrees when you’re not home for 8 hours.

According to the U.S Department of Energy, “You can save 5%–15% on your cooling bills by raising the temperature setting on your thermostat when you are away and don't need cooling. Only lower the setting to 78°F when you are home and need cooling."

If you don’t like constantly messing with your thermostat, get a programmable thermostat that can change the temperature for you.

2) Be friends with your ceiling fan

Did you know your ceiling fan cools you off enough so you can turn your thermostat up 4°F without feeling uncomfortable?

Ceiling fans work by providing a wind-chill effect, meaning it carries heat away from your body so you feel cooler. Relying on your ceiling fan more and your AC less saves you money because a ceiling fan costs less to use.

According to The New York Times, a 3-ton AC costs $0.36 per hour to use. But a ceiling fan running at medium speed can run for 3 hours before the energy costs add up to one penny.

3) Keep supply vents open

Many homeowners close the vents in rooms they’re not using to save money.

Makes sense. But, closing off vents actually hurts rather than helps as far as energy efficiency goes because it:

  • Increases pressure in your duct system, which forces air out of leaks in the ducts
  • Forces the AC’s compressor to work harder, increasing energy costs.

So keep those vents open!

4) Close your drapes

During the summer, drapes can keep your home cooler by keeping heat out. This means your AC has to work less to cool your home.

So close your drapes before you leave home in the morning.

What drapes work best to keep heat out? According to the U.S Department of Energy, “Studies demonstrate that medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%.”

5) Change the air filter regularly

Here’s a quick energy efficiency win: Change the filter in your return grille at least once a month during the summer. If you leave it in too long, it fills up with particles and starts blocking airflow.

This increases your utility bills because it:

  • Reduces the amount of cold air coming out of the supply ducts
  • Forces your air conditioner to work longer and harder, increasing your energy bills and potentially harming your air conditioner.

Want more money-saving tips? Check out our blog.

Minneapolis St. Paul Air Conditioning has been serving the needs of the Twin Cities areas since 1918.