How to Keep Summer Cooling Costs Low—In Only 4 Minutes

What can you do in 4 minutes? More than you think.

Here are 4 simple ways to keep your utility bills low this summer and each only takes a minute to get done. Ready, set, GO!

Minute 1: Close your blinds/drapes

Don’t let heat coming blazing through your windows. It causes your air conditioner to work harder and run longer.

Take a minute and close your drapes and blinds to keep the heat out.

Learn more about the most energy efficient blinds and drapes from the U.S Department of Energy.

Minute 2: Check/change the air filter

Your air filter goes from friend to foe fast when it gets dirty.

According to ENERGY STAR,  “A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the [air conditioner] work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.”

So take a minute to check the filter in your return duct. If it’s dirty, replace it! Make sure to check it once a month.

Out of air filters? Here’s our beginner’s guide to buying air filters where we list the pros and cons of the different types of air conditioning filters.

Minute 3: Trim the bushes around your A/C

Your central air conditioner outside unit needs breathing room to cool your home efficiently. So if your air conditioner has bushes or tree limbs smothering it, that’s going to hinder your air conditioners energy efficiency and raise your utility bills.

Take a minute to trim the foliage around the outside unit. Leave at least 18 inches clear on all sides of the outside unit.

Minute 4: Turn your ceiling fan on and your thermostat up

Want to save money while still staying cool?

Turn on your ceiling fan and you can raise the thermostat up by about 4°F with no reduction in comfort, according to the U.S Department of Energy.

A ceiling fan is far less expensive to use than an air conditioner. So any chance you can use it instead of your A/C is money you’re saving.

How much will you save? Depends on how much you’re home and need cooling. But, according to ceilingfan.com here are some general energy usage costs of each:

  • A central A/C unit runs about 3 kilowatts and costs about 36 cents per hour
  • A ceiling fan runs on only 30 watts and costs about 1 cent per hour

Just make sure you turn off your ceiling fan when you’re not in the room. A ceiling fan only makes you feel cooler through wind chill, it doesn’t actually lower the temperature of your home. So leaving the fan on when you’re not in the room or not home is a waste of money.

Professional Air Solutions is Tampa Bay‘s trusted heating and cooling specialist. Give us a call 727-822-6600.