It is said that nearly half of our energy use goes to heating and cooling our homes. If this statistic sounds like you, you might be wondering if there is a way to be more mindful of your electric bill while still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Indeed, reducing the amount of energy you use to keep cool can equate to savings on your bill. Below are 5 things you need to know about your home air conditioning bills to help keep your pockets full while summer temperatures soar.

1. Energy efficiency saves big.

If you have an out-of-date HVAC system or an older home, you may not be as energy-efficient as you could be! To check, schedule an audit of your home’s energy usage. An auditor will survey your house in order to tell you exactly where cool air is escaping due to under-insulation or improperly sealed windows and doors. Some energy providers will offer free or discounted audits to any new customers, so be sure to ask when you contact.

Installing a programmable thermostat can help with your home’s energy efficiency as well. These devices allow you to set controls to change your thermostat’s temperature while you’re away – that way you’re not cooling an empty house. You can even schedule a temperature change into your programmable thermostat, so your home is nice and cool by the time you get home without wasting hours of cooling energy throughout the day.

2. Simple changes add up.

Plugging any leaks around door and window frames can help keep cool air inside, and it’s a simple DIY. Check around your doors and windows for any damage and erosion, and then re-caulk them.

Set up some outdoor shade near windows to prevent direct sunlight from entering your home. This may seem like a small task, but it can equate to big savings on your home air conditioning bills. Erect a pop-up shade or plant some tall trees near your windows, and you’ll be sure to notice how much cooler your interior remains.

3. Updates are worth it.

While they carry a sometimes hefty up-front cost, updates to your home can save big when it comes to your monthly energy costs. If your HVAC system was installed before the early 2000s, you may want to consider upgrading to an energy-efficient system.

Also, installing energy-efficient windows can make a huge difference in your monthly payments! The latest double- and triple-paned windows are comprised of multiple panes of durable glass with clear gas between the panes. The gas works as insulation to keep heat out while the clear windows let sunshine through, keeping your home cooler and brighter at the same time.

4. Details are important.

Draw your shades to keep the sun out. Simply closing your blinds during the sun’s peak hours can have a significant impact on inside temperatures.

If you have indoor fans, turn them on! Using a ceiling fan, a whole house fan, or even a portable oscillating or desk fan will help to keep the air circulating inside your home. The more air circulates, the cooler the indoor temperature feels. This way you can keep your thermostat set a bit higher and still keep cool.

You can also close vents in unused rooms and keep the doors inside your home closed. This way you don’t use energy to cool rooms that are not regularly used.

5. You can use the power of the sun.

Installing solar panels on your roof is a major cost-cutting tool. Switching to a solar power system is easier than you might think, and the long-term savings are more than worth the up front investment!

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