How to Save on Air Conditioning During the Hottest Months of Summer

By Megan Morrow
Published July 25, 2019

As July and August compete for the hottest annual temperatures, you may be sweating the increasing cost of your air-conditioning bill. Believe it or not, air conditioners cost homeowners $29 billion per year and use about six percent of the electricity produced in the United States, according to Energy.gov.

If you are looking to cool off your monthly cooling bill this summer, the following tips can help you save money and preserve the environment:

  • Invest in an automatic thermostat. This is one of the best and simplest ways to save: You turn up the thermostat setting when you are away and set it to a temperature you are comfortable with before you return. You may enjoy double-digit savings with the support of a programmable thermostat.
  • Fan off. Ceiling fans are an easy way to circulate air and cool off on a hot day. Since fans do cool people more than rooms, do not run them when you are away. Ideally, fans should be energy-efficient and run on upper levels.
  • Plant more trees. Leafy trees are not only beautiful, but they can also prevent sun from shining directly into your house. If you want to benefit immediately, you will need to purchase larger trees that provide shade now, rather than waiting for saplings to grow and sprout.
  • Turn off the oven. Summer is a great time for grilling outside, which means you are not turning on the stove or oven indoors. If you have to cook inside, consider a cold pasta salad for dinner or something that can easily be microwaved. The less heat you generate indoors, the more comfortable you will be and the less you will need to rely on your air conditioner.
  • Seal your house. Leaky windows and doors let cool air out and warm air back inside; weather stripping, caulking and updating can save you money in every season.
  • Cover your windows. Since three-quarters of sunlight on standard double-pane windows becomes heat (and nearly one-third of your home’s heat is lost through windows in the colder seasons), curtains and mini-blinds can keep heat from entering. Another option is windows films or solar screens.

Finally, if your best efforts are not making a dent in your monthly air-conditioning bill, consider a replacement – or at least maintenance – for your system. Inefficient air conditioners simply cost more; if you are purchasing new, look for an Energy Star unit or something with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER). If you are in maintenance mode, keep the filter clean so air can move and ensure that your air conditioner is level to allow for condensation drainage.

And, when all else fails? A cold shower, a bowl of ice cream and a trip to the basement can help.

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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.

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