Conserving Electricity in the House – Air Conditioning Is The Biggest Culprit

Ever notice how your bill is more expensive in the middle of summer? Air conditioning is the number one culprit in higher energy costs. Cutting down your consumption of conditioned air will have an immediate and drastic impact on your energy bill.

Running central air conditioning within a 1,600 square foot space or home costs approximately $3.76 per day, which adds up to $116.56 over the course of a regular month, according to Progress Energy.

Here are ways you can reduce your electric bill by adjusting your air conditioning habits:

Home energy check: Request that your local energy company conduct a free home energy check. A trained professional will examine your home for potential energy pitfalls and recommend ways to cut your energy bill.

Auto: Keep your air conditioning on the “auto” setting for best economy and humidity control, even if you adjust the temperature settings.
Open doors: Your central air unit is designed to cool a home when all the doors are open. By closing vents and doors to rooms, you’re handicapping your unit’s ability to properly cool, which can cause overuse very quickly.

Ductwork: Check your ductwork to ensure there are no leaks in the attic or other spaces where you don’t intend to heat or cool.
Gasket seals: Install gasket seals behind switch plates and outlets to prevent air leakage.

Change the filter. It’s a pain to change those air filters, but they keep your system running with ease. The harder it has to work to overcome a clogged filter, the more expensive it will be.

Temperature: Keep the temperature setting on the threshold of your comfort level. Each degree above or below recommended settings (70 for heat; 78 for cooling) can cost 7-10 percent more.

Ceiling fans: Installing and running indoor ceiling fans cost one-half cent per hour. That’s one-half of one tiny, red cent! The advantages are better air circulation and preservation of conditioned air. By simply keeping your fans running throughout the house, you can cut your air conditioning time in half and still feel just as comfortable.

Leave it off: If you’re gone most of the day, adjust your temperature threshold to where it’s least likely to turn on, or turn the unit off completely until you return if you’re going on a trip. Unless someone’s home, there’s no reason to condition or heat the air. If you’re not able to program your unit, get into the daily habit of adjusting the air just before you leave the house, and watch the savings pile up at the end of the month.

Fresh air: If the weather’s nice, throw open the windows and allow the fresh breeze to filter through the house. It’s amazing what a calming effect it produces (not to mention how much energy you’ll be conserving.)

Billing preference: Many energy companies offer a billing program that averages your yearly energy consumption for a flat payment each month. Instead of paying $30-$40 more during the summer, you’ll pay the same averaged amount all year. This convenience makes it so much easier to budget for your bill each month.

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