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10 tips to reduce air conditioning bills

How to reduce air conditioning bills?

Of course, you want your home to be cool and comfortable during the dog days of summer.

But you also want to save money on utility bills.

Here are some tips on how to save on your electricity bills while still keeping your cool.

1. keep air conditioning on during the day; off at night.

To reduce your electricity bills, keep the air on during the day and off at night. Open the windows to take advantage of naturally cooler evening air.

2. set the thermostat at 72 degrees.

For every degree you raise your thermostat, you'll save 3 to 5 percent on your monthly electricity bills. Suffer a little heat now, reap the monetary rewards next month.

Also consider installing a thermostat with a built-in timer. While you can easily adjust your thermostat yourself to comfortable temperatures, for energy efficiency, it makes sense to have a system that does it for you automatically. 

Don't place your air-conditioning thermostat near lamps, appliances, or in direct sunlight. Heat in these areas is sensed by the thermostat and could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.

3. don't leave a light on.

Since energy for lighting accounts for some 10 percent of your electricity bills, you can save by lightening up on your wattage.

If you're using 100-watt bulbs where 60-watt bulbs would do, consider replacing them. And switch to fluorescent bulbs that screw into standard sockets. Turn off lights when you leave a room.

Outdoors, replace incandescent lighting with high-pressure sodium or outdoor fluorescent bulbs for additional savings. Or, try solar-powered pathway lamps or high-efficiency sodium lamps for security lighting. Light=heat=harder-working AC. 'Nuff said.

4. keep upstairs rooms cool with fans.

Install attic fans and use them - especially in upstairs rooms. Heat rises, as you know. So instead of cranking up the air conditioner, bring in the fans to save the day. You'll save money on electricity bills by helping the chilled air circulate.

5. shut out the sun to keep your home cooler.

To keep your home cool this summer, draw the drapes, close window blinds, and close windows to keep hot air and the sun's burning rays out.

6. lighten up on your interior decorating.

Pale colors for walls, draperies, rugs, and upholstery can help reflect light and can reduce the number of lamps needed to adequately light a room.

7. seal door and window cracks.

Check your home's doors and windows for cracks or gaps that allow hot air to seep in, causing your air cooling system to work harder. Install weather stripping or recaulk around windows and doors if needed. Making sure your home is well-insulated against the heat is key to reducing those electricity bills.

8. regularly replace heating and cooling filters.

To keep your AC running at peak efficiency, replace the machine's filter every three months for more home energy efficiency. It will also help stave off an expensive air conditioner  repair.

9. turn off the television.

Turn off the TV. It generates heat, too. (Sorry, kids!)

10. schedule home maintenance yearly.

To keep all your home's major systems running smoothly, schedule maintenance at least once a year. A preventative maintenance program will also help you save money in the long run.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the products and supplies you need to reduce your energy bills - and more!

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.