With summer and hot weather just around the corner, you’ll be running your air conditioner more. That means your utility bills will probably be going up. We’ve already told you about one way to reduce energy costs – have your air conditioning system tuned up to make sure it is operating at top efficiency. But here is a quick Top Ten Tips to help you save more, without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

  1. Set your thermostat as high as comfortable, without making the house unbearable. Set it a little higher when you are out of the house. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to adjust the temperature based on when you are home.
  2. Don’t put lamps, TV sets or other electronic appliances or electronics near the thermostat. The heat generated will cause the thermostat’s temperature to rise, causing the AC to work harder than it needs to.
  3. Close your blinds and drapes during the day to block out the heat-generating sunlight.
  4. If it is cool at night, shut down the AC and open the windows.
  5. Speaking of windows (and doors), make sure you seal all cracks that allow hot air to enter your home (not to mention cold air in the winter).
  6. Ceiling and attic fans can also cool the home, enabling your AC system to not have to work as hard. A ceiling fan can let you raise the thermostat about four degrees Fahrenheit without reducing comfort. But only keep the ceiling fans on when you are in the room.
  7. Wash only full loads…of dishes and clothes. And when washing your clothes, try using cold water (use hot water on sheets to kill bacteria).
  8. Instead of drying the clothes in the drier, let them dry outside in the sun. And let the dishes air dry in the dishwasher.
  9. Unplug your appliances and electronics when they are not in use. And if you are not in a room, make sure the lights aren’t on.
  10. Take showers instead of baths.