No one wants to sweat through the summer, but energy costs are so high these days that it sometimes seems like we’re forced to make a decision between a reasonable temperature and bankruptcy. It doesn’t need to be that way. You can reduce the cost of using your air conditioner and doing so will have the secondary advantage of reducing energy consumption. You can save some green while being a little greener.
Here are three suggestions. This isn’t a comprehensive list of ways to get the job done, but it should put you on the right track.
First, cut down on the level of interior heat in your home. Your air conditioner works a lot harder when you aren’t paying attention to the base level of heat in your home. Think about ways you can deflect heat in the first place. Trees are a long-term helper. Drapes over sunny windows are a quicker fix. Think of ways you can start cooler and you’ll be able to reach desired temperature levels while working your air conditioner less.
Second, set your temperature intelligently. Yes, it gets really hot out there and the idea of walking into the equivalent of a giant refrigerator probably does sound nice. It’s not nice on your pocketbook or the environment, however. Experts say that setting the thermostat a little higher can make a huge difference. Every one degree reduction under 78 Fahrenheit increases your air conditioner’s energy draw by around 4 percent. See if you can live with a temperature that’s a few degrees warmer than you usually use. And remember, you don’t need to see your breath to be comfortable.
Third, become a fan of fans. Ceiling fans, box fans, oscillating desk fans and just about every other kind of fan you can find will help increase the effectiveness of your cooling system while using less energy than making up the difference with you air conditioner. The moving air feels good and the reduced size of your bills may feel even better. It’s true. The fans do use electricity. The amount required to operate them, however, is far less than what an AC unit will pull from the outlet.
Those are just three possible ways to spend less while staying comfortable. There are others, too. If you put your mind to it, you can find a variety of ways to be more efficient without abandoning the idea of air conditioning altogether.
It’s a no-brainer. The advantages are quite significant and the amount of effort required to procure them is relatively slight. A few minor changes and adjustments can have a real impact on your life, putting more dough back into your pocket while you waste far less energy.