Low-Cost Ways to Cool Your Home in the Summer

You can boost your air conditioning efficiency by cooling your home in other ways.

When the temperature goes up, so does your monthly electricity bill. Though central air conditioning doesn’t eat as much energy as your furnace does in the winter, it can still cost over $100 per month from May to August.

The easiest way to cut cooling costs is to lower the temperature in your home in other ways. That way, your system won’t have to consume as much energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. Here are some of the simplest ways you can boost energy efficiency in the summer.

Seal and weatherproof your windows

If there are gaps in the seal around your windows, warm air will seep in from outside. Use a caulk gun to close the leaks, and install spring metal weather-stripping around the exterior for added protection

Use a programmable thermostat

Does your house sit unoccupied for hours on end most days? If so, you’re wasting a lot of energy by leaving your air conditioning on all that time. You can cut costs by programming the thermostat to shut off your cooling system after you leave and turn it back on shortly before you get home.

Most people own programmable thermostats, but few use them to their full potential. Take time to program the device to turn the air conditioning down (or turn the temperature up) while you’re away. Have the thermostat cut the A/C just after you leave and switch it back on about half an hour before you’re scheduled to return. This will ensure your home is comfortable by the time you step through the front door

Get a ceiling fan

Unlike an air conditioning unit, ceiling fans don’t actually make the air cooler. Instead, they pull cool air from the ground and circulate it to make a room feel more comfortable. Though they have gone out of fashion, ceiling fans can make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler using 10% of the energy as central air

Close curtains and blinds

Ultraviolet (UV) and infrared rays can enter your home through the windows, contributing to the rising temperature. You can easily block sunlight with window dressings, like curtains and blinds. Close them during the hottest hours of the day, especially on south-facing windows.