Cutting Back Your Air Conditioning Bill

Living in the upper Midwest allows us to experience quite a diversity of weather within a span of just a few days. For example, our outdoor temperature can be forty-five degrees one day and eighty degrees the next. Having the air on one day and the heat on the next does not help our energy bills.

As we approach the warmer months, we all can use the following tips to help cut the cost of energy from our air conditioners.

* Whether your air conditioner is a central unit or a window unit, change the filter at least once a month during the peak season. Clean, or have cleaned the coils and fins on the outside of the unit.

* If it is possible, place the air conditioning unit on the north or east side of your house. If that is not an option, place the unit in a very shady spot to guard against the afternoon sun.

* Buy a unit that is appropriate for your room or house. If the unit is, too small it will run continuously without doing its job. It is too large, it will only waste energy as it frequently turns on and off.

* If you infrequently use one or more of your rooms, close down the air vents to that room. In addition, if your basement is cool enough already, close down the vents in the basement.

* In an average home, for every degree you raise the thermostat, you may save three percent on your air conditioning energy bill. Therefore, by raising the thermostat from seventy-three to seventy-eight, you may save about fifteen percent on your cooling costs.

* Use pedestal or ceiling fans to help circulate the cool air in your home. Also, if you do not already have one, install an exhaust fan in your attic to get rid of any trapped or stale hot air.

* On excessively warm day, draw your blinds and curtains, and use your storm windows to trap in the cool air.

* Install awnings over the window on the west and south side of the house.

* Do your part by using major appliances in the early morning or late evening.

* Consider doing some of your laundry in cold water. Laundry detergents are now formulated for cold-water use. However, still continue to do your heavier soiled laundry in warmer water.

* Continue to use your lights sparingly.

Remember that electricity costs, so please do your part in keeping the energy costs down. Have a great summer.

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