- Next to heating, cooling uses more energy than any other part of your home. And setting your air conditioning at 70°F instead of 78°F will almost double your operating costs. So be sure to set your air conditioner no lower than 75°F when home, 80°F when you're gone for several hours, and turn it off when you're gone for more extended time periods. But don't just turn it off during the day - it's more costly to cool the house back down than to leave it on 80°F.
- Reduce the amount of heat passing through your home - install awnings and shades on your home's east and west sides. And plant deciduous trees on the east and west of your home. These tips will cut air conditioning costs and allow cool breezes to pass into your home.
- Supplement your central air conditioning with portable fans, ceiling fans and a window unit. They're extremely efficient, help circulate air and will spare you the expense of lowering your thermostat below 78°F. With them, you can keep your thermostat above 80°F and still feel cool - and save 30 percent on your cooling bill.
- Replace dirty air conditioning filters each month - clean filters can reduce cooling costs up to 10 percent.
- Seal and replace leaky ductwork - this effort could save you 20 to 30 percent on your cooling bill.
- Shade your air conditioning unit from direct sunlight. Don't use anything that will restrict airflow - it will only make the unit work even harder.
- Close all windows, doors and chimney dampers when using your air conditioning.
- To reduce the heat generated by your stove at dinnertime, use pots and pans with tight-fitting lids on low heat.
- On hot days, cook outdoors, use a microwave or prepare cold meals to avoid excess heat in the kitchen.
- Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from your house.
- Install sun-control or other reflective film on south-facing windows to reduce indoor heat gain.
- Consider planting vines on trellises outside your home - they can shade windows or the entire side of your house.
- To prevent inaccurate temperature readings, place heat-producing appliances (such as lamps and TVs) away from the air conditioning thermostat.
- If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows with high-performance glass (low-e or spectrally selective) to reduce heat gain.
- On hot summer days, the temperature in your attic can reach 150 degrees, which can increase the temperature of your entire house. Install a thermostat-controlled attic fan to exhaust the hot air and keep your home cooler.
Back to Energy Saving Tips Main Page