Your air conditioner is such a great convenience to have on those hot summer days. You're out in the heat all day long, and want to come home to a nice cool house when your day is through. The downside to that wonderful appliance is the energy bill you get stuck with having to pay, which sometimes can be quite hefty. See below for some helpful tips to stay cool and comfortable this summer without breaking the bank.
Making repairs, adding a few upgrades and performing some maintenance indoors to your system will help save you money on your energy bills this summer, and can save you money during those cooler months too.
- Caulk windows and doors. Caulk around windows and doors to seal in the cool air and keep out the hot air outside (vice versa in colder months). Look for paintable caulking at your local hardware store. Use your finger to smooth the caulk, then paint over it to match your trim. Be sure to caulk around every single window and door in your home.
- Replace seals. Replace rotting, loose or cracked seals around the doors in your home. You can find new seals at your local hardware store. The seals have a sticky side that stick to your door, although some may need to be nailed in place. Also replace any seals around windows that need replaced as well.
- Replace air filter. Your air filter should be replaced at least every other month, or more often if you have pets or if anyone in your home has allergies. Replace the filter with one the exact same size.
- Invest in a new thermostat. Add a new programmable thermostat to your home to save you some cash. A programmable thermostat can be programmed to change the temperature in your home when you aren't home, when you're asleep or even when you're on vacation. A new thermostat doesn't cost too much money, but it can help save you a lot of money
- Add insulation. Insulation can help prevent air from escaping out of the roof of your home, and prevent hot air from getting in. Add insulation to protect the air inside your home.
- New a/c system. If you have an older air conditioning system, chances are, your air conditioner is not energy efficient. Upgrading to a new system can help save you money.
Regular maintenance of your exterior A/C unit can save you money as well.
- Clean the unit. The unit itself should be cleaned as well to keep air flowing into the unit properly. Give it a good spray down often to remove grass clippings, dirt and other debris from the fins.
- Remove brush/weeds. Clean up the area around the unit, such as weeds growing too closely, plants and brush piles that could be blocking air flow to your unit.
- Close curtains during the day to keep the sunlight out.
- Open up the windows at night when it's cooler outside, then close them in the early morning before it starts to get too hot.
- Shower throughout the day with cool water to help cool you down.
- Cook outside or use a crock pot, rather than using the stove or oven, which can heat up your home.
- Use ceiling fans or a whole house fan to help keep you cool.