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high energy costs thermometer moneyAh, Summer. A time for the kids to play and the adults to pay. At least when it comes to the cooling bill. Every year countless homes across the globe waste millions upon millions of dollars paying extra for inefficiently air-conditioned homes. Today, we’ve made a list of several simple things you can do right now to keep your bills from soaring like the temperatures.

1. Stale air

Stale, stagnant air is one of the most common issues to plague homes, and it often tricks us into believing that things are warmer than we think. Consider installing ceiling fans throughout your house, or even using simple box fans to promote the flow of air and improve your comfort without turning down the thermostat.

2. Poor insulation

While crawling all over your attic examining your insulation with a magnifying glass may help you determine which rooms are poorly insulated, it’s fairly easy to tell if a room is warmer than the rest of the house. Try and add additional insulation above these rooms in particular, or add curtains if the rooms are full of windows letting in sun.

3. Suffering ductwork

Houses built in the 80s or earlier often have gray, plastic wrap resembling plastic shopping bags surrounding their ductwork. These bags tend to deteriorate over time and leak cool air into the sauna that is your attic. Check your ductwork before the summer heat arrives to search for tears, and hire an HVAC contractor or fix them yourself with some sturdy sealant.

4. Old filters

It’s easy to forget to switch out the AC filter for your home, and we’ve all done it over the years. But a clogged filter will not only keep pollen and pet allergens circling in a home, it will keep your home from adequately circulating cool, fresh air. Set monthly reminders on your phone to check your AC filter, and make sure to write your install date on the filter itself.

5. Absence

Why bother keeping the house exceptionally comfortable when you’re not around to enjoy it? Given that most of us work during the hottest hours of the day, give your AC a break and turn the thermostat up while you’re out. Seventy-eight is the ideal setting for an AC unit to run at for maximum efficiency, so if that’s too warm for you while home, consider setting it to that while you’re away.

6. Cracks in weather stripping and caulking

If you double-check your doors and windows, you’ll often be surprised at how many cracks and openings you may find. Purchase some cheap and durable weather-stripping or caulking to shore up these openings, or consider hiring an energy auditor to find the culprit sites for you.

If you’re willing to put a little time and energy into it, you can easily find simple solutions to avoid air conditioning waste and cut back on your energy bill. Most of the time, you can implement these ideas yourself and avoid hiring a costly HVAC contractor. Try some of these ideas today for a cool home that won’t break the bank.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.