Monday, October 25, 2010

Saving Money on Air Conditioning

This post is part of a multi-part series on Saving Money A to Z here at Frugal Follies.

Finding ways to save money on AC probably isn't a big issue for most of you now, with the cool fall weather coming.  But here in the warmer parts of the United States, it's almost a year-round concern.  Seems to me that there are basically two ways to save on air conditioning:

1.  Turn up the thermostat and get used to a warmer temperature in the house.
2.  Run the air conditioning more efficiently.

So here are some ideas I had to beat the heat in the house:
  • Open the windows - only if it's cooler outside than inside.
  • Run ceiling fans when you are in the room.  Turn them off when you leave a room, though.
  • Use box fans as well.  Keep them out of reach of children.
  • Wear lighter clothing that allows air movement.  Keep your shoes off.
  • Drink cool drinks, even when (and especially when) you're not thirsty.
  • Find another cooler place to be, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Try to create as little heat energy from cooking as you can by cooking with a crockpot, outside on a barbecue, or by eating more meals that don't require cooking.
  • Don't run dishwashers or other heat-producing, washer/dryers, or other heat-producing appliances during the warmest parts of the day.
  • Gradually get yourself used to having a higher temperature in the house.  Try increasing the air conditioning temperature by one degree every few days; once it truly becomes unbearable, bring it down slightly.
As for running the air conditioning more efficiently, that's a subject that many experts have delved into.  I certainly am not an expert, so let me point you to some folks who know more about the subject:
  • Mr. Electricity has 37 ways to help you, including changes to your attic and roof that you can make.
  • Cash Money Life has some great suggestions on changes you can make in your home.
  • The folks at Consumer Reports have some great tips on changing your light bulbs and creating shade within the house.

Check these sites for more great tips and frugal ideas:

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Coupon Teacher October 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM  

Thanks for the tips. We actually ran the AC for about a half an hour before bed the other night. Crazy weather!

Melissa October 29, 2010 at 8:03 AM  

I totally agree about ceiling fans! We installed ours in the past few years, and they've saved us a bunch already. We also use oscillating tower fans in rooms where ceiling fans wouldn't be easy to install.

My other tip is to keep the blinds and curtains closed. One side of our house gets direct sun all afternoon/evening. Keeping the blinds closed makes a tremendous difference in the room temperature.

Stopping by from FFF

Barbara B October 29, 2010 at 10:28 AM  

Thanks for the great tips.
I'm your new follower from frugal fantastic frugal fridays, I would love a follow back.

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