In most parts of the country, air conditioning has become a necessity for everyday life, especially in Colorado where the dry and arid climate can cause some discomfort during the summer months. Most homeowners will flip on the A/C unit when it starts to get hot and just brace themselves for the utility bill at the end of the month. While that strategy works for some, there are actually some pretty simple things you can do to shave dollars off of your bill every month.
1) The first thing to look for on your A/C unit is a dirty filter. It’s an easy, affordable fix and replacing a dirty or damaged filter can reduce the cost of running that unit by up to 15%. Having a functioning filter also increases the lifespan of the unit.
2) Having a programmable thermostat or even manually raising the indoor temperature of your home a few degrees can have a massive effect on how much electricity is being used. If you have a more sophisticated thermostat that can raise or lower the temperature automatically set it to increase the temperature when no one is in the home and it’s not necessary for the interior to be a comfortable temperature.
3) Using ceiling fans is another big way to reduce cooling costs. On average ceiling fans, and portable box fans use a fraction of the electricity that an A/C unit uses. Fans can also be moved, positioned and adjusted to suit your needs and become more effective and moving air through your home.
4) Turning off your A/C at night and using windows and fans to cool your home is a powerful tool. Even during the hottest parts of the year in Colorado, the nightly temperatures drop to a fairly comfortable level. What that means for you is that you can take advantage of that cooler air by opening windows and letting the house ‘air out’. There are also numerous health benefits to breathing in some fresh air.
5) Use curtains that block out the sun and excess heat. Most stores sell these curtains as ‘blackout’ curtains and they work very well for sunny rooms with the most direct sunlight. If you don’t want the inside of your home to be too dark, you can also use slatted blinds or just lighter colored curtains. The real goal is to block most of the sun that is heating up the inside of your home and causing the A/C to work overtime.
6) Cooking your meals outside over a grill is not only delicious but it’s super effective at maintaining control of the interior temperature of your home. There is a reason you see dozens of families during the summer months cooking up burgers outside because cooking a traditional meal inside usually entails using both the stove and the oven. So at the end of the day open up those windows to take advantage of the fresh air and consider planning your weekly dinner menu around cooking outside.