When the dog days of summer are in full swing, Missourians normally experience some of the hottest weather of the year. It’s only natural to crank down the thermostat of your air conditioning unit to create a cooler home or business.
However, keeping your air conditioning unit on high during the summer months can also cost a pretty penny.
Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives want to help offset these costs, so we’ve rounded up tips and tricks that can keep your home or business comfortable without breaking the bank. By balancing air conditioning usage and our suggestions below, our Member-Owners have the potential to save on your electric bill!
Change Air Filters Regularly
Keeping up with the maintenance of your air conditioner, like changing the air filters regularly, will ensure that your unit is running efficiently. If the air filters are dirty your unit will work extra to run, adding to electric usage. According to Engery.gov, replacing a dirty air filter can reduce energy usage by 5% to 15%. Also, it’s recommended to replace (or clean depending on the type of unit you have) every month during the summer months (source).
Use Blinds and Curtains
Keeping blinds and curtains up when the sun is shining will heat up your room. Therefore, it will cause your air conditioning unit to work overtime adding unnecessary electric usage to your bill. Keep your blinds and curtains drawn to maintain the temperature in your house. If you’re wanting to bask in the beautiful Missouri sunshine, be sure you do it outside, so you can cool off quickly when coming back home!
Keep Doors Tightly Closed.
In addition to insulating your home with blinds and curtains, make sure your entryways are tightly closed to avoid cool air from leaving your house and hot air from entering. Not only will proper insulation keep the inside cool, it will help in the colder months when you don’t want freezing air to invade your space. No matter what the temperature is like outside, it’s beneficial to make sure the door behind you is secure and make sure the kids don’t leave the door open when it’s time to play outside.
Use Fans to Help Circulate Air.
Give your air conditioning unit a break and turn on the fans in your home. With your home properly insulated, the fans in your home, whether they are on the ceiling, table top, or standing fans, can keep you and your family comfortable in the various rooms of your home without using too much electricity. Fans are a cost-effective way to keep cool in the summer. However, you should turn them off when you leave a room!
Use Natural Ventilation.
Not all Missouri evenings are too hot to handle! For those nights when the temperature drops, open your windows for the nice natural ventilation. The breeze will feel refreshing and since the sun is already down, it won’t heat up the inside of your home. This is a perfect tactic to save on electricity for the end of summer as we welcome fall especially.
Make Sure Unused Electric Items are OFF.
Did you know that you’re still using electricity when some of your appliances are plugged in despite them being turned off? Think about the items in your home that has lights on constantly or digital clocks on them (we’re looking at you microwave!). Instead of constantly unplugging and replugging, utilize a surge protector to turn off those draining appliances to save on the power sucks.
Disconnect During Peak Hours.
Not only will limiting your electric usage during peak hours save the money in your wallet, it’s also a chance to disconnect and come together as a family. Turn off the widescreen TV. Save that extra load of laundry for the late night or early morning. While you’re at it, use cold water because that will keep you from using the water heater in addition to your cleaning appliances. Small steps like these to disconnecting and strategic usage can save you money.
Invest in Energy Efficient Additions.
Programmable thermostats, new HVAC units, new water heaters, LED lighting, and more updated technologies will allow you more efficiency and control (sometimes from your mobile device!) of the cooling of your home or business. Your Cooperatives are here to help and might even be able to offer rebates!