Energy bills can skyrocket during the summer. On average, it costs around $280 per year to run air-conditioning at home. Divided over the hottest months of the year—June, July, and August—that's about $93.33 per month just for air-conditioning, according to Carbonrally.com. Don't let your increased energy bill keep you from taking that much-needed summer vacation. Here are some easy ways to cut your electric bill this summer so you can stay cool and still have money left over.
1. Clean the filter in the air conditioner
When the filter is clogged, it has an effect on how efficiently your air conditioner runs, not to mention on the quality of air you're breathing. It's not just a beginning-of-the-summer task. Keeping the filter clean on a regular basis is important. A little vacuuming and sanitizing can go a long way.
2. Install window film
If you're not someone who wants to shut the blinds and close the curtains during the summer, installing insulating window films can allow you to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and view while still conserving energy. The films lessen heat gain, which, in turn, will help make your home feel cooler so you won't have to run the air conditioner as much. No need to call in a professional. Plenty of stores sell kits so you can easily do it yourself.
3. Install a programmable thermostat
You can set the air conditioner for one temperature when you're home and another for when you're out of the house. This can save you quite a bit of money, not to mention you won't have to fuss with it by manually changing it all the time.
4. Use a draft blocker
Depending on the type of exterior doors you have, not using a draft blocker could be the equivalent of leaving your air conditioner running while your windows are open a crack. It's basically like tossing dollar bills out your window. Draft blockers aren't expensive at all, and you can even save yourself money and make them yourself.
5. Run a fan
Fans, ceiling or otherwise, are cheaper to run than an air conditioner. If you're going to be sitting in one room, such as in the living room watching TV, consider turning off the AC and running the fan instead. You'll still be able to stay cool, just for a lower price.
6. Open a window
Opening a window at night will give your AC a breather and you can take advantage of the cooler air. If it's still too warm for you, think about installing a window-mounted fan. It allows you to either bring the night air in or push hot air out, depending on your preference. The fans are easy to take in and out as needed.
Some of the above might seem like a lot of work, but you'll be happy you made the extra effort once your energy bill comes and it's lower than you thought possible.