9 Ways to Lower Cooling Costs in Rising Heat

Check out these energy-saving tips that will help your air conditioner do its job without breaking a sweat—or the bank.

By Kristina Grosspietsch | Updated Jun 28, 2021 04:29 PM

Aim for High Efficiency

Energy Star Rating

If you are shopping for a new air conditioner or a replacement, be sure to choose one that carries the Energy Star seal. Not only will the higher efficiency save you money over time, but many energy companies, like ConEd in New York, offer rebates—just for making the smarter choice.

Related: 11 Air Conditioning Mistakes That Spike Your Bills


Keep It Clean

Clean AC Filter

To keep your system running smoothly, make sure your air conditioning filters are clean and replace them regularly; you'll need to clean or replace as often as once a month during the summer. 

Related: Get Your Fix: 20 Easy DIY Repairs for Every Part of Your Home


Little Things Count

What Temperature To Set Thermostat In Summer

When you set your thermostat, remember you just want to be comfortable—not chilled. Be aware of the settings; every degree you lower your thermostat increases energy savings by up to 6 percent.

Related: 13 Simple Ways to Cut Your Home Cooling Costs


Close It Up

Keep House Cool

Close the door! Listen to your mothers—were you raised in a barn?—and keep your doors and windows shut while the AC is running. Cool air stays in; hot air stays out.

Related: 20 Summer Life Hacks Everyone Needs


Live Like a Vampire

Cheap Way To Block Heat From Windows

Like a creature of the night, avoid the sun. Close curtains and lower blinds to block out summer rays. If you want to take it to the next level, consider installing exterior awnings to reduce heat gain. Awnings are particularly effective over south- and west-facing windows and doors.

Related: 9 Energy-Saving Home Upgrades That Pay for Themselves


Don't Strain the System

Running Appliances With AC On

Help your AC by not getting in its way. Try to do your heat- and moisture-producing chores, like running washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers, in the early morning or late at night when temperatures are lower—and energy costs are too.

Related: 8 Appliances that Cost You a Fortune in Energy Bills


Give Your Oven a Break

Cook Outside

Summer is the season for juicy fruit pies, but when it’s really hot, your AC might prefer that you direct your culinary skills toward backyard grilling, or concentrate on microwavable recipes and meals. The heat from an oven can cause your AC to work harder and your heating bills to spike.

Related: 17 New Essentials for Your Best Ever BBQ


Protect Your Thermostat

No Heat Light Bulb

Keep lamps, TVs, and other electronics away from your thermostat. You don’t want it to pick up ambient heat from these appliances and force the AC to run longer than necessary! Also, opt for CFL light bulbs, which give off less heat and save even more energy.  

Related: Buyer’s Guide: LED Light Bulbs


Make Your Own Summer Breeze

Ceiling Fan Counter Clockwise

Let your ceiling fan do some of the work! Make sure it’s rotating in a counterclockwise direction to push air downward and breeze past you for a cooling effect. 

Related: 12 Clever Hacks to Help You Beat the Summer Heat


Cool Savings

Cool Savings

A little help from you will keep your A/C running efficiently.


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