Six Tips To Cool Your Energy Bill

FreeMoneyFinance has six tips to keep your energy bill from overheating this summer:

1. Have your duct system tested for leaks; up to 40% of the energy put out by a central AC system can seep through leaky ducts;
2. Ask for a “blower test.” Though not as fun as it sounds, a blower tests reveals where precious cold air is escaping from your home;
3. Close your fireplace damper;
4. Replace your air conditioner filter;
5. Clean and tune your air conditioner;
6. Upgrade aging equipment. If your AC is old, a new Energy Star compliant model could save a bundle. Look for a model with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER.)

For more energy-savings tidbits, check out our archives. They are chock-full of valuable tips. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Six Easy Steps to Lower Your Cooling Bills [FreeMoneyFinance]
(Photo: Lazy_Lightning)_

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  1. ErikinPA says:

    Ask for a “blower test.” Though not as fun as it sounds

    I laughed long and hard over that.
    long and hard.

  2. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    When the summer days are too hot, I just try not to be home. I take advantage of the free air conditioning at the mall.

  3. consumed says:

    3 months ago I bought a programmable thermostat for $30. It turns off my heating/cooling when I am at work or sleeping. Has already paid for itself.

  4. Havok154 says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat:

    Nothing like coming home to a puddle that was once my dog.

  5. Tallanvor says:

    I miss my AC… I mean really, how can the Brits call themselves civilized when most of their homes don’t have AC?

    Of course, with what they charge for energy here, I suppose nobody would be able to afford to use it anyway.

    Sigh.

  6. SexCpotatoes says:

    I sleep in my basement when it gets unbearably hot, don’t even need a fan at all. It’s really really nice when your electricity bill is in the $25-35 range ALL SUMMER LONG, even with two computers in use and a 42″ LCD TV as one of the three monitors.

  7. @SexCpotatoes: I slept in my basement during the summer until we had water this spring and now it’s all ripped up. *sob*

    We overhauled our a/c system with newer, tighter-sealing vents so we could close off some much better and push more air to others. (Also added those metal stick-on vent covers for extra oomph.) So we no longer have that one bathroom that’s really freezing while a particular bedroom gets no air whatsoever (etc.) and that’s dramatically reduced “how hard” the A/C has to work on the rare occasions we run it. (It’s lowered my kWh usage, but not my bill, since those went up 55% at the new year :P)

  8. dieman says:

    You have to be careful about oversealing vents with A/C. If the coil does not have enough airflow while working, it will cause the coolant to return to the compressor in liquid form, which is not a good thing.

  9. spanky says:

    We don’t have central AC. We live in a dry climate, so we have a bigassed swamp cooler we set up during the hottest part of the summer, to cool the main part of the house. Most of the time, though, just cross-ventilating the house at night and then closing it back up in the morning keeps it comfortable enough.

    We do have two room AC units for spot cooling where we need it. And when it’s really, really hot at night, my boyfriend and I sleep in the guest room in the basement.

    We also don’t use the stove very often when it’s hot. We just keep a supply of salad and sandwich stuff in the fridge, grill some steaks every now and again, and go out for pho even more than usual. That makes a huge difference.

  10. mac-phisto says:

    there’s a new kind of a/c unit on the market that is much cheaper than installing central air & it’s supposed to be loads more efficient than central air & wall units. do a search for ductless air conditioning & you should find it.

    basically, there are internal units that hang on your wall & connect to an external unit via refrigerant lines. an hvac guy was showing me these the other day…they look pretty cool. (that’s not punny!)

  11. That photo screams “Legionella”.

  12. pestie says:

    1. That picture is sexy, but I’m disturbed by the fact that I find it so.
    2. “Though not as fun as it sounds…” Funniest thing I’ve read all day!
    3. My electric bill in the summer is usually $200-$230, and I’ll gladly pay every cent. I’m in Florida.