5 Tips To Beat the Heat and Save Money on Air Conditioning Bills All Summer Long
Stay cool on the cheap.
The average American household will spend $500 on electricity this summer. Luckily, we have the easy tricks for how to save money on A/C that’ll keep you comfy and slash your bills in half!
Create a frosty breeze with salty ice cubes.
While a window unit costs about $40 to run each month, a fan costs only $5 per month. To boost its chill factor, fill a bowl with ice cubes, sprinkle them with salt and place the bowl in front of the fan, says HVAC expert Mark Davidson. “The salt lowers the freezing point of ice from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so as the cubes melt, extra-cold water vapor will be released into the air, cooling you right off.”
Lock in cool air by sealing sneaky leaks.
We can save 15 percent on cooling costs simply by filling gaps around windows and doors, studies show. “It’s easy to block drafts with caulk or spray foam,” assures Steve Beeler, owner of RSC Heating and Air Conditioning. To pinpoint energy leaks, walk around windows and doors holding a lit candle. If you notice the flame start to flicker, you’ve sleuthed out a draft — just fill it up and start saving big!
Boost your A/C’s efficiency by opening these vents.
Your air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air, it also removes humidity. Give it a helping hand by turning on the vents in your kitchen (above the stove) and bathroom. “These vents pump humid air into your attic or outside, helping your A/C work much less hard,” says HVAC expert Walter Bennett (GreenLeafAir.com). This easy trick can decrease your monthly bill by 20 percent.
Block the hot sun with window film.
“You’ll reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by installing window film (found easily in home improvement stores), which blocks hot UV rays,” says Davidson. Place the film on windows using a clear adhesive, and it’ll stay put until you’re ready to remove it.
Lower indoor temperature with a simple light ‘switch’.
Not only do LEDs last much longer than incandescent bulbs, they also use up to 90 percent less energy and produce significantly less heat. Even if switching out traditional bulbs for a few LEDS only results in a one-degree temperature change in your home, that adds up to a $30 savings over the course of the summer!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.