Tips To Reduce Air Conditioner Usage

Tips To Reduce Air Conditioner Usage

Well, it’s that time of year again, at least here in Florida. I turned our a/c on for a little while yesterday morning. Last summer, we made it until August before getting our air conditioning installed and running – it wasn’t exactly comfortable, but we survived. This summer, while I’d like to use it and will use it as necessary, I am already thinking ahead about things I can do to help reduce the need for it and thus keep our power bills reasonable.

Some of the things I plan to do are

Leave my thermostat settings alone – Pick a temp to have it kick on and leave it there. I think I’ll probably set it at 78 and see how that goes. No fiddling with lowering it to get it to cool down faster.

Keep windows covered – I still have one area in the house that I need to hang a window mistreatment – across a huge 4 section french door that lets lots of sun and heat in. When you’re not in a room, close the drapes or blinds and open them in the evening to let the heat escape out the windows.

Use fans ceiling fans are my best friend in the summer. Great for at night to not have to leave the a/c on, and they also reduce the work your a/c unit has to do throughout the day.

Use the stove and oven less summer is a great time to grill out more and cook in the crockpot to avoid heating up the kitchen unnecessarily. When using the stove, use an exhaust fan (our stove has one built in) to zap the hot air before it gets through your kitchen. You could set up a fan in your kitchen to do the same thing if your stove doesn’t have one.

Use a dehumidifier I am going to get one before the hot really sets in. It really is so much more bearable when the humidity is sucked from the home.

Schedule chores around the heat Let dishes in the dishwasher air dry to avoid the heat cycle, line dry your clothes to keep the dryer from emitting all that heat – if you are going to use the dry cycles, do it at night. Try to keep your own strenuous activities to a minimum during the peak hot times so you don’t need the a/c to cool you off as much.

What things do you do around your home to keep your energy costs down during the dog days of summer? I’d love any suggestions!

Another great list of 13 Ways To Keep Your Home Cool This Summer can be found at One Caveman’s Financial Journey

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Comments

  1. what a woman! there is NO way I could sleep at night (especially in FL!) w/o the air on! I try really hard to keep our set and leave it alone. it does go cooler at night. luckily our house is pretty shaded under some trees and we put in new windows a few years ago and that has really helped too. i also try not to bake as much in the summer as our kitchen is the furthest away from the AC unit and also gets afternoon sun. If only we had a pool that would solve all my heat problems. I would jus sit in it all summer. :) Does a dehumidifier really help? I never thought about that.

  2. I got very excited when I saw the title of this post. I’d looooove to reduce our AC costs. And these are really great tips.

    Unfortunately Husband would shrivel up and die without the AC. It is on 24/7/360 (there were perhaps 5 AC-less days this year) in our South Florida home, and we compromise at a setting of 74 degrees when he is home. Yes, 74. Before we got married he kept his on 68.

    Apparently I’ve married a polar bear.

    When he leaves I put it up to 77 (FPL tells me three degrees variation is best not to have to make the AC work too hard to cool it back down), and I put it down a degree to 76 awhile before he arrives home from work. If I’m lucky it will be 8 or 9 pm before he puts it back down to 74.

    So, I bundle up a lot in the evenings. But I have to admit I’ve always loved to sleep in a chilly room.

    This is why we are so far from green.

  3. Great post, with very creative ideas!

    While I definitely agree with not fiddling with the thermostat, I would recommend making sure you have a programable thermostat. Let it automatically cool down at night and stay warmer in the day. Then you don’t even have to think about it!

    When my wife and I leave for work our thermostat is set to let the house get warmer/cooler (season pending) and it stays that way until about 9 pm when we are ready for bed when it does the opposite.

    @ Bethisway…I LOVE sleeping in the cold! It’s the most amazing thing ever.

  4. In Florida, especially here in the SW, we use our a/c nearly all year it seems. We keep it set at 78 degrees and use fans at night to help keep cool enough. A nice swim in the evening helps cool us off as well. When we have had to deal with hurricanes, getting soaked and standing in front of a fan does wonders too.

    The only other tip I can think of is to change your a/c filters on a regular basis.

  5. I guess I am a little bit loony living here in Florida and not running our A/C all year round. We haven’t run it in months and it is completely comfortable. I guess maybe I’m just used to it. And I HATE being cold inside. Thanks for the input, everyone!

  6. Another thing you could do is get yourself a window AC unit and install it in the room you use most often. Only cool that one room instead of your entire house; saves lots of money. My wife and I install one in our bedroom for those nights when it is too hot to sleep, otherwise we try to keep the whole house AC off if possible.

  7. i recently saw an episode of “living with ed” on the green channel in which they used an attatchment to the outside unit that actually puts out a mist to cool the coils BEFORE it goes into the house… the premise being that if the coils are cooler, it takes less energy for the temperatue variance to reach a cooling point. theoritically, it can save up to 30% on cooling costs & in florida, that’s significant. but i haven’t had any luck tacking one down. has anyone heard of this?

  8. in our place, the weather could turn out to be uncomfortably humid that is why we bought an air conditioner at home to reduce h*-*

  9. air conditioner is always a necessity at home.`”

  10. While I agree with the tips in the article, I like Matt’s idea, who posted above. I think the only way to really reduce a/c energy usage/cost is to change the way we use air conditioners. Though I wouldn’t go for a window unit as Matt suggested, they aren’t as efficient, half the unit hangs outside in the elements, etc. I’d select one or two rooms to cool, then install a split a/c system or even a trusty ptac like hotels use.

  11. There are certainly a variety of particulars like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice level to deliver up. I offer the ideas above as basic inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up the place crucial factor might be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round things like that, however I am sure that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Both boys and girls feel the influence of only a second’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  12. AC and i are always conflicting. i cant stay in ac for long. cough and cold is what i get frm there apart frm comfort

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  1. [...] Tips to Reduce Air Conditioner Usage. With temperatures rising, so are energy bills. This article has some great tips for reducing energy use by the number one power hog in the summer – your air conditioning system. @Remodeling this Life [...]

  2. [...] This Life has tips to keep your air conditioning bill lower.  I have this one beat — No a/c but she has some good tips to remember as the weather starts [...]