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How to Save Money on Air Conditioning: 10 Simple Ways

Split air conditioner

2023 has been a financially rocky year for the most part. Gas prices are at a historic high, and so are the prices of basic commodities. If you’re clutching on to every dollar, reducing your air conditioning spending may give you some financial relief.

Regular AC use will set you back between $14 and $221 a month, depending on the size of your AC and usage patterns. This excludes routine maintenance and repair costs that ramp up the cost even further. Cutting down on your AC costs could help you save a bundle every year.

Saving money on your air conditioning doesn’t mean shivering through winter and baking in the summer heat. Here are a few excellent ways to save money on air conditioning without compromising your comfort.

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The 10 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning

1. Change Your Filters Regularly

technician is cleaning the filter of AC
Image Credit: Fire-n, Shutterstock

The filters in your AC help keep out dust, pollen, and other debris from entering your AC system. They help ensure the free flow of air within the AC and also improve your home’s air quality.

It’s normal for AC filters to clog after a long period of continued use. When they do, it’s important to replace them with new filters. Otherwise, you’ll have to contend with substandard air quality and a clogged AC system.

Failing to replace your air filters also means you’ll have to deal with hefty air conditioning bills. Clogged filters compromise your AC’s efficiency, translating to increased energy bills. As a rule of thumb, ensure you replace your AC’s filters at least once every three months, and you’ll save a bundle on energy costs every year.

2. Seal Air Leaks Around the House

Any cracks, gaps, and holes around your house are a conduit to let air in and out. This makes for a very inefficient house, especially during the winter season. A draft can enter through these gaps and negate your AC’s efforts to keep the room comfortable.

Do a visual inspection of your entire house, starting with the doors and windows. Seal any gaps, holes, or cracks with a generous amount of caulk. If you’re not very handy, you can always hire an expert for a professional energy audit. That way, you can identify and seal all the air leaks around your house.

Sealing these air leaks will help make your house a lot more energy efficient. This means your AC doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.

3. Always Cover Your Windows

woman looking out at the window
Image By: Elena Elisseeva, Shutterstock

Did you know that about 30% of your home’s heating energy gets lost through the windows? Usually, the larger the window, the more energy it loses. Covering your windows will go a long way toward reducing how much heat is lost or gained through your windows.

Cover the outside-facing side of your windows with solar screens or mesh-like window screens, and you can conserve all your home’s heating energy. These screens reflect ultraviolet radiation from the sun and prevent heat loss from the inside. Your AC won’t have to use up as much energy to keep your home comfortable.

4. Schedule Routine AC Maintenance

Like any other housing system, your AC requires regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. Lack of proper maintenance could lead to a host of problems down the line. Plus, it also reduces the efficiency of your AC.

Routine AC maintenance usually starts with replacing the filter to maintain the home’s air quality. Next, you need to clean and dust off the condenser and evaporator coil. Don’t forget to remove the twigs and leaves that collect outside the condenser.

AC maintenance is typically a DIY responsibility. However, if you’re not up to the task, you can hire an AC professional to handle it. Regular maintenance will improve your AC’s efficiency and lower your energy bills.

5. Get Ceiling Fans

ceiling fan in garage
Image By: Mocha.VP, Shutterstock

Instead of cranking up the AC, turn on the ceiling fans and open the windows. The best approach is to open windows in rooms far away from the fans and close them in rooms with fans. This will reduce your reliance on the AC yet still keep your rooms comfortable enough to stay in.

When using ceiling fans during the summer, make sure you run them counterclockwise. This pushes cool air down the room, creating a cool breeze.

6. Buy a Programmable Thermostat

Ditch your old thermostat for a programmable one, and you’ll save a lot of cash on air conditioning. Programmable or smart thermostats allow you to set your home’s temperatures for specific times of the day. This means you can set your AC to run only when it’s too hot or cold, and not all the time.

What’s more, most programmable thermostats allow you to control them remotely. In fact, some have their own smartphone apps. You can conveniently control your home’s temperature even when at work or in school.

The Department of Energy recommends setting your temperature at about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You can go higher or lower, depending on your preference, but only when at home. Do this for about 8 hours every day, and you can significantly reduce your air conditioning budget.

When you’re not at home, it isn’t a good idea to turn the AC all the way down. This will not cool your home any further. Instead, it will only increase your monthly energy bill.

7. Close the Vents

ventilation fan in the bathroom
Image By: Mumemories, Shutterstock

Vents introduce fresh air into your home to prevent stuffiness. However, in doing so, they also increase your home’s temperature. Your AC now has to work harder to cool down the house. Keeping the vents closed helps to keep the room at a more even temperature. This means the AC can run more efficiently without raising your energy bill. If the house feels too stuffy, try opening the windows.

8. Avoid Halogen and Incandescent Lights

While halogen and incandescent bulbs are great for lighting your home, they’re not the most efficient bulbs. What’s more, these bulbs are notorious for heating up whatever room they’re in. This means your AC has to use more energy to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.

To save on your energy bills, consider cutting out the halogen and incandescent lights. Instead, look at better alternatives like LED and CFL lights. Not only are these more efficient, but they also emit less radiation, so your home remains cool.

9. Upgrade Your Air Conditioner

man using airconditining remote
Image By: Tomislav-Pinter, Shutterstock

With times getting tougher by the day, more people are finding it harder to upgrade their air conditioning. While a new AC might be expensive, your old one is costing you a lot more money than it would cost to buy a new one.

ACs deteriorate with time because of wear and tear, rendering them extremely inefficient. Running these old AC systems will quickly rack up your monthly energy bill.

If you’re getting a new AC, it is recommendable to get a ductless system. Ductless ACs are a lot more efficient than conventional AC systems. Ductless ACs allow you to control the temperature of specific rooms, not just the entire house. This means you can heat or cool only the rooms you’re in and let the rest be. Doing this will reduce your AC spending by almost half.

Another type of AC that should top your wish list is an inverter AC. This is a super-efficient AC that contains an inverter. The inverter regulates the frequency of electrical currents in the compressor. When the room temperature is just right, the inverter lowers the frequency instead of turning it off. This saves a ton of energy, subsequently lowering your energy costs.

10. Ensure Proper Insulation

The most efficient AC stands no chance against lackluster insulation. Insulation helps keep the cold outside and the heat inside during winter, and vice versa during summer.

Arrange for a professional insulation expert to insulate your entire home. They’ll pick out any gaps and holes that allow air to enter your house and seal them. This will help maintain an even temperature and reduce your AC bill every month.

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Final Thoughts

You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Use the above tips to reduce your air condition spending. Don’t forget that a well-maintained AC is as efficient as a new one. Schedule routine AC maintenance and you won’t have to worry about AC maintenance.

Featured Image Credit: Wstockstudio, Shutterstock


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