Summer Heat: Tips to Help Decrease Your Utility Bill

Jul 15, 2014

Temperatures are continuing to increase which also means an increase in running your air conditioning. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and air conditioning your home takes up 43 percent of your monthly utility bill. Here’s how to reduce those costs in summer.

1. Most heat that accumulates inside of a house comes directly from the sun shining onto the roof or through the windows. With that in mind, consider planting leafy trees to stop the sun from reaching inside. If the trees or shrubs shade your air conditioner, you could boost your AC’s efficiency by up to 10 percent.

2. Solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it gets into the house. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, window screens are particularly effective on east- and west-facing windows. Window films are another option. They are transparent, metaled sheets that reflect heat before it can be transmitted through glass. However, windows must be shut for window films to work, while solar screens do double-duty, keeping the sun and insects out even with windows open.

3. Buy some fans. The key is to circulate air inside the house. If possible, use fans on your house’s upper level and open windows on a lower level. If you live in a one-story house or apartment, you should close your windows near the fan and open windows in rooms far from the fan, preferably on your home’s windward side. Moving air also helps evaporate the sweat from your skin.

4. Keep your AC filter clean to allow for good air movement which keeps the unit level so the condensation drains properly. If you replace your older room air conditioner with a newer unit, you could cut your energy costs in half. Other than changing the air filter, you should also do maintenance work on the condenser and the evaporator. Learn how to do that here. 

5. Turn up the thermostat when you’re away. If your house is going to be empty for a long period of time (while you’re at work, or on vacation) turn up the thermostat a few degrees. There’s no need to keep an empty house cool and this trick helps conserve energy.

6. Let the night air in. Especially here in the Rocky Mountain Front Range, when the sun sets the temperature also falls. On cool nights, turn off your AC and let the night air inside your home. If you want to turn your AC back on the next day, do it in the morning before the house gets too warm.

How do you save energy during the summer? Tell us on our Facebook page.


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