As the temperature exceeds the triple digits this summer, our electric bills are spiraling unward with the heat index.
Except for a hardy few, going without air conditioning is probably not a practical cost-cutting measure. Still, there are ways to save energy and cut your electric bill.
Use these tips from utilities experts
We consulted the websites of Florida Power & Light and the U.S. Department of Energy for advice about how to save:
If you don’t have central air, consider a new window unit. These have improved considerably in recent decades, and a modern window unit uses half the electricity of one from the 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website. Look for a unit that is Energy Star-rated and has an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 10 or higher.
Keep your thermostat at 78 or above in summer.
Use ceiling fans to stay cooler, but turn the fans off when you leave the room. The fans don’t cool the room, just the inhabitants.
Seal air leaks around windows, doors and vents.
Change your air conditioning filter every month.
Have you heard these tips before? Of course. But when was the last time you changed your air conditioning filter? Confess. This may be the summer to get serious.
If you liked this story, you may also like:
- 17 summer water-saving tips to reduce your bill
- Save water and money by fixing leaks around the house
- How to save thousands around the house
When I change my filter, I figure out that days date and then add go out from there to the date the filter should be changed and write it on the filter in the corner and I check it when cleaning the air return every week. That way I don’t go to long or too short.
I just set a calendar reminder in my email (google, or Outlook if you prefer) to change my filter every 30 days. It’s impossible to forget!
These are great tips! I know since Colorado has reached the three digit temperature range, I have turned into quite the homebody. My AC has become an essential part of my life this summer. I couldn’t live without that cool air, so I’m thankful for the tips on how to run it more cost efficiently! Since the indoors has become my main habitat, I’ve also been running my TV sets more often. With the blistering heat outside, my only survival tactic is watching a movie with a cold drink. My DVR button has worn down to a nub already and it’s only July! Luckily, I have the Hopper DVR that comes equipped with heaps of recording space to last me the rest of the summer and then some. My coworkers at Dish recommended I get a TV that is more energy efficient. Would you advise that as another way to cut costs this summer?
Teresa Mears says
It’s unlikely your TV itself uses enough energy to make that enough motivation to get a new TV. But if you just want a new TV …
David Cotner says
the new LED TVs generate quite a bit of heat in the brighter modes. Using the Movie mode instead of the Dynamic or Standard modes will help keep the A/C from running so much.