7 Ingenious Ways to Save on Air Conditioning This Summer

Summer is synonymous with relaxation, time outdoors, and sometimes, unbearable heat. But you don't have to suffer, or shell out hundreds of dollars in air conditioning bills every month. Keep cool and enjoy the last days of Summer with these tips for saving money on your air conditioning bill.

1. Only Cool the Rooms You Use

Whether you have a full duct system or window units throughout your house, one of the best ways to maintain a comfortable living space and not waste money on air conditioning is to only cool the rooms you use. With duct systems, try closing the vents in rooms you don't use often, leaving those in your living area and bedroom open.

2. Arrange Furniture

When you first arranged your furniture, you may not have noticed whether any of your belongings were covering up the vents — or you may not have bothered to worry about it. Do a sweep of your home to make sure no vents are blocked by furniture and rearrange your spaces if you have to.

3. Turn It Down

Many of us are guilty of cranking up the A/C to frigid temperatures. And while that's fine to do for a couple of minutes if you've just come home from the sweltering heat, you should try to keep your air conditioner on a reasonable temperature. Even turning it down a couple of degrees will make a huge difference on your utility bills, without impacting your comfort.

4. Install Exterior Blinds

A lot of the heat that comes into your home is from the sun, so why not stop it from entering your home even before it hits your windows? Bamboo blinds are a great exterior option, and keeping them closed when the sun's directly on your house can stop a lot of the heat from getting in. The bamboo will also leave your home bright, so you won't feel like you're in a dungeon.

5. Keep It Clean

One of the best ways to spend too much on your air conditioning is if your unit has to work too hard to produce the cool air. If you have a duct system, make sure the ducts are clear and clean. Always be sure to check on filters and the unit itself, whether it's an HVAC, portable, or window unit, and clean them when they get really dusty. The more dust and debris that's in the way, the less cool air will be able to get through.

6. Circulate the Air

Air circulation is key for keeping a comfortable space. If you don't have a ceiling fan, consider installing one to get all of that cool air moving throughout your home. You can also put a couple of portable fans here and there. This works especially well if you only have one window or portable air conditioner, as it helps push the cool air further into your home. Fans also keep your body cooler, so you can probably turn the air conditioner down a degree or two.

7. Turn It Off

While it's nice to come home to a cool home after a long day at work or after spending the day outside, leaving your air conditioner running that whole time is a huge waste of energy. Always make sure to turn it off before you leave for an extended period of time. Keeping your curtains and windows closed will keep your home a little cooler, and you can also buy a programmable thermostat if you want it to come on just before you get home.