7 ways to cool your AC bill this summer


As temperatures soar this summer, keeping your home cool and comfortable can quickly add an eye-popping $176 per month to your electricity bills, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Fortunately, there are a number of little things you can do around the house to quickly put a freeze on cooling costs. Check out our list of 7 ways to take control of your AC bill this summer.

1. Optimize Your Thermostat Settings. The simplest and most effective way to cut your cooling costs is by setting your thermostat to a higher temperature. The US Department of Energy notes that the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. You can also use a programmable thermostat to keep your house warmer when you’re away and make it cooler when you’re just about to return home.

2. Keep Your Cool with Fans. Fans are a cost-effective way to stay cool while reducing your air conditioner use. According to gov, if you’re running a ceiling fan with your air conditioner, you can raise the thermostat setting by 4°F without noticing a difference. Ceiling fans make you feel cooler by creating a wind-chill effect—just make sure they’re set to rotate counterclockwise in the summer to push cool air down. And if you live in a rental and can’t install a ceiling fan, portable fans are your next best bet; position them near windows at night to draw in cooler air. Turn off fans when you leave the room—fans cool people, not rooms, so leaving them running when rooms are empty does nothing but waste energy.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation (AKA open your windows). When the outside air temperature is cooler than the inside air temperature, turn off the air conditioner and throw open the windows to let breezes naturally cool your home. Be strategic, opening windows on opposite sides of your home to create a refreshing cross breeze. Just be sure all the windows have a screen to let breezes in and keep bugs out. An added bonus: The fresh air will make your home smell good, too.

4. Block Out the Sun All that bright, beautiful sunlight pouring through your windows all day long? About 76% of those sunbeams enter your home as heat. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to block some of the heat and drastically cut your cooling costs:

• Close blinds and curtains during the hottest parts of the day to keep out the sun.
• Add reflective shades to reflect sunlight away from your windows.
• Install awnings, pergolas, or exterior shades to prevent direct sunlight from hitting your windows.
• Plant leafy trees on the south and west side of your home; they’ll block solar rays during the summer and still let sunlight in during the winter

5. Seal Leaks and Improve Insulation You pay a lot of money to cool your home. But if there are gaps and cracks around doors and windows, that air you’re paying to cool is seeping outside, and hot, humid air is seeping in. Frost King makes a variety of products that can help you seal leaks and lower your air conditioning bill, including:

• Weather Stripping that’s installed around doors and windows to seal gaps and prevent air leaks. Learn how to install weather stripping here:

• Foam Outlet and Switch Sealers that slip behind the face plate of outlets and switches to stop air leaks. This video shows you how easy they are to install:

• Garage Door weatherseal products to block hot outside air from seeping into your home from the garage. This video explains how to choose the right product for your garage door:

• Air Conditioner accessories to insulate window units and block hot, humid air from seeping in around the unit. 

6. Reduce Heat-Generating Activities If you want to keep your house cool, cut back on activities that make your home feel hotter during the hottest parts of the day. That means using the microwave, slow cooker, or grill instead of the oven, running the dryer at night or hanging wet clothes on a clothesline to dry, and switching incandescent light bulbs to LEDs, which give off less heat.

7. Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit Regular maintenance will help your air conditioning unit run more efficiently. Be sure to have your AC unit serviced regularly to keep it in good working order, and clean or replace the filters on whole house air conditioner and window units to maintain proper airflow and efficiency.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. Homeowners should always consider safety precautions before starting any home improvement project.  While we strive to offer accurate and helpful advice, Frost King does not assume responsibility for any actions taken based on the information provided or for any consequences resulting therefrom.