3 Easy Ways to Cut Cooling Costs
Summer appears to have arrived early, and with it will be the increased electric bills. Each year I get questions about quick and easy ways to save energy (and money) on cooling bills. While the most significant savings go to those willing to invest in cutting edge technologies like solar and geothermal, most of us don’t have an extra $30,000 to spend in order to save a few hundred dollars per year. Instead, I’m listing my top 3 energy savers under $100.
#1 Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will save you money…if you use them properly. The experts say that a programmable thermostat can save in excess of $150 per year. The newer programmable thermostats are much easier to program than they used to be. In fact, there are even “learning” thermostats available that monitor the times of day that you adjust the thermostat setting and will program themselves after the first week.
#2 Give your air conditioner a bath
Actually a full blown tune-up would be even better. Most air conditioning companies have maintenance programs that provide a thorough cleaning and check-up of your air conditioning system. A clean a/c is an efficient a/c. It will also last longer with fewer break downs. Research shows that the money spent on a/c maintenance is more than paid for by the reduced utility and repair bills.
#3 Change your air filter
It seems like this maintenance item gets forgotten more than anything else by most homeowners. It’s simple and relatively inexpensive, and your a/c system will breathe much more easily (and use less electricity) if it has a fresh filter in it. If you’re using a 1” standard filter, you should probably be changing it monthly during the summer.
BONUS TIP: I said I’d give you my top 3, but I had to throw this bonus tip in. It doesn’t make my top 3, because it can take a while to see results, but if you have enough patience the savings can be huge. Plant a tree. In fact, plant lots of trees. When the temperature is pushing triple digits nobody likes to sit in the hot sun, and your house doesn’t either. Giving your house some shade can significantly reduce the cooling load that your air conditioner has to overcome.