Welcome to “the dog days of summer,” the hottest, most sultry days of the year. If the heat and humidity aren’t enough to make you sweat, the thought of your staggering electric bill may do the trick. Fortunately, though, there are ways to beat the heat without breaking the bank. Here are three quick ways to give your air conditioner – and your wallet – a break.
1) Drape Yourself in Savings
This one may sound obvious, but window shades and drapes help prevent solar heat gain, meaning your central or room AC doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain its set-point. Potential savings will vary greatly depending on your local climate, window type and size, U-factor, whether window film is installed, outdoor shading, and various other factors, but drapes or shades installed over clear, uncoated glass can reduce solar heat gain by 20 to 60%.
2) Don’t Forget About the Filter
You may be filtering your tap water this summer, but are you as knowledgeable about your AC filter? A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool — wasting energy. You should check your filter once a month and clean or replace it if dirty. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, reducing the likelihood of expensive maintenance costs.
3) Your #1 Fan for Saving Money
It’s hot. We know. But setting your AC to “Antarctica” is expensive and is not your only option. Turning the AC thermostat up only two degrees Fahrenheit while using a ceiling fan can reduce AC costs by approximately 14%. And that includes the energy cost of operating the ceiling fan.
Fall may be right around the corner, but summer is not over yet. For more summer cooling tips, watch this short clip from Wake Up with Al on The Weather Channel, featuring ENERGY STAR’s very own Doug Anderson.
- Wake Up With Al: Tips to Save Money in Summer Heat clip: http://www.weather.com/tv/shows/wake-up-with-al/video/tips-to-save-money-in-summer-heat
- Keep Your Cool and Save Your Money this Summer: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=globalwarming.showCooling
- HVAC Tips: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac
- ENERGY STAR’s Guide to Heating & Cooling Efficiently: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/HeatingCoolingGuide%20FINAL_9-4-09.pdf?4324-dfe6
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