There’s no way around it: in some places it’s time to start using your air conditioner for the summer – that time of year always comes early for us in the desert – and with every single cost rising in recent years, that means buckling down and trying to reduce your power bills while working on your environmental impact. So how do you reduce your air conditioning use? Here are 5 easy ways to do that:
Use closed curtains, shades, drapes, or plants for shade
Not only will this help cold air from escaping (or like my dad used to say, “Close the door, are you trying to air condition the outside?”), it’ll block hot sun rays from getting into your home. Plants are extra helpful in that they love the sunlight and will help create cleaner air (just be sure to water them!).
Set the temperature a little higher
Having the temperature around 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit will help reduce your power bill already, but did you know you can save up to 6-8% of cooling costs for every degree above 78? You can still stay comfortable and save money! It’s also a good idea to set the temperature high when you leave the house (or even shut it off completely).
Become a fan of fans
If there are ceiling or portable fans in your house, they can help circulate cooler air (and also make you feel 4 degrees cooler). And they’re cheaper to run: they only cost a half-cent per hour to operate.
Turn off the lights (and other appliances)
If you aren’t using a particular room, be sure to turn the lights off – they generate heat that adds to the air conditioner’s workload. When it’s laundry day, get it done early in the morning or late at night when it’s not as hot. The same goes for cooking – if you can get it done before the hottest part of the day, it helps take the load off your A/C.
Switch your schedule
If you find that your house is getting a lot of traffic during the afternoons, opening and closing doors can make hot air enter your house and cause more work to get it cooled down again. Besides, maybe trying to switch your schedule will give you some ideas on alternative activities during the afternoons (like volunteering!)
How do you reduce your A/C use? Like us on Facebook and tell us!
Need more assistance in learning to let go of the consumer media’s impact on your life, take control of your finances and find the satisfaction of enough for today? The Get Satisfied Interactive Handbook walks you through a series of specific questions and then presents a personalized how-to plan for becoming a postconsumer. Begin your evaluation for free right now.