How to Keep Your Air Conditioning Costs Down

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Homeowners spend almost half of their monthly utility bills towards heating and cooling their homes.  With so much money going towards controlling the climate in your house, these tips can help you cut your cooling costs and help you save energy.

Plant Trees:

Planting leaves and shrubs around your home will stop the sun from getting inside and heating up your house. Planting shrubs around your air conditioner to protect it from direct sunlight can also increase its efficiency by keeping it cool as it runs.

Install Solar Screens:

Solar screens are like window screens, but they also block solar energy from entering your home. They do let some light and heat in, but they do a great job at keeping your house cooler. Window films that are placed directly on the window pane are another option, but they require the windows to be closed where solar screens can be used with the windows open.

Use a Programmable Thermostat:

Keep your thermostat at a lower setting during the hours that you are home, but let the temperature rise a bit during the hours that you are at work or when you are sleeping. You can save money each month by allowing the temperature of your house to be a little warmer during the hours that you aren't home.

Use Fans:

Keeping the air inside your home circulating will help keep it cool. If you live in a two story house, keep fans running upstairs with the windows shut and open the windows on the main floor. This will create great air circulation, forcing the hot air down and cooling the upper level of your home.

Move Downstairs:

On extremely hot days, move to the lowest level of your house. Hot air rises, so hanging out in the basement during a hot spell will keep you cool and won't require any extra energy. Bring a pillow and a light blanket and sleep in the basement if it is too hot.

Turn off the Oven:

When it is hot, opt to barbecue or microwave instead of turning on the stove or oven to cook your food. If you do need to use the stove to cook, turn on the exhaust to remove as much of the heat as you can.

Following these tips and getting your air conditioning unit inspected every year and tuned up can keep your home cool without costing you extra money on utility bills each month. 

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