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Air Conditioner Energy Costs

May 23, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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A few considerations along with air conditioning maintenance can cause electricity consumption (and resulting bills) to drop. Even in the hot summer, you can use various tactics apart from turning down the thermostat, to limit home heat and air conditioner energy costs. Consider the following options:

  • Keep windows covered to limit heat penetration by using:
    • Blinds, shades and draperies.
    • Awnings, shutters and protective screens.
    • Shade created by trees or tall outdoor plants.
  • Use ceiling fans frequently to make rooms feel cooler.
  • Lower the thermostat before you leave.
  • Get air ducts cleaned regularly.
  • Seal any holes near pipe work.
  • Increase energy efficiency by replacing air conditioner filters regularly.
  • Use AC unit covers (cost $10-$30) to protect room air conditioners from the harsh sun.
  • Consider using coated windows (as opposed to standard panes) to aid in heat reduction and minimize glare.
  • Call your utility company to service your central air system every spring (this cuts cost by increasing efficiency).
  • Check insulation or insulate properly paying particular attention to air ducts, the attic, windows, and the foundation.
  • Consider the following outdoor modifications:
    • Use light exterior paint to reflect more sunlight and heat.
      • Homes painted in a dark color absorb anywhere from 70-90% of the sun’s heat energy.
    • Add a reflective coating on your rooftop.

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