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Photo: Youtube

Here are some helpful ways for you to use the air conditioner more economically:

1.Plant shade trees around the house

Your home will stay cooler if you plant leafy trees around the outside of it to help block the sun.

According to John Krigger, founder and president of Saturn Resource Management in Helena, Montana, "the majority of heat that accumulates inside a house comes directly from the sun shining onto the roof or through windows and heating the house directly. Krigger is an expert in energy efficiency who also gives talks, writes books, and provides training to others.

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Shade trees help to cool your house. Photo: Energy-Info

On the south side of the property, Krigger advises planting tall trees, while the west and east should have broad trees. In contrast to the south side, where solar rays are high in the sky, he claims that if you have a large window facing east or west, you'll get a lot of sun in the morning and afternoon.

If you place a tall tree in the appropriate location, Krigger advises, it will be worthwhile to spend the extra money to purchase one.

2.Turn off at night, and save while you sleep

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Turn off the air conditioner at night. Photo: Quarzt

This money-saving advice is as obvious as day and night! During the day, keep your air conditioning on, and off at night. The logic is straightforward. First of all, you can benefit from the cooler nighttime air by leaving the air conditioning off and opening a window. You might even experience a light breeze to cool things off.

If you do experience a pleasant breeze, let it enter your home by opening the windows and doors on both sides.

Second, your body simply doesn't require the same temperature that it does during the day for you to be able to sleep comfortably. So you can enjoy some nocturnal energy savings and restful sleep with your air conditioner turned off.

3.Cover your windows

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Photo: The Blinds

The DOE estimates that during hot weather, about 76 percent of sunlight on windows enters the room as heat. Before the energy enters the house, it can be blocked by solar screens or mesh-style window screens. According to Bank Rate, window screens are especially useful on windows that face east and west.

The best way to install them is on the outside, according to Krigger. "That would thwart (solar energy) before it completely penetrated the glass. It's superior to anything you could possibly do from the inside.

Another option for saving money is window films. Before heat can pass through the glass, these metalized sheets reflect it. It won't pass through the glass if you use something white, silver, or highly reflective, according to Krigger.

Window films need to be applied with the windows closed, but solar screens work even with the windows open to block the sun and insects.

4.Keeping it clean to keep costs down

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Photo: Passion Air

Here’s one more awesome tip to reduce your air conditioning bill over summer. Ensure your air conditioning unit is regularly maintained and that the filter is either replaced or cleaned to maintain optimum efficiency, Daikin, a famous air conditioner brand cites. A dirty filter makes any air conditioning unit work harder, meaning more electricity and higher energy costs!

5.Get “smart” about your thermostat

The DOE advises keeping the thermostat seven to ten degrees higher for eight hours if no one is home during the day to save as much as 10% on energy costs.

When you are at home, the DOE advises keeping the thermostat set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit rather than lowering it after being gone all day. This doesn't speed up the cooling of your home and may lead to overcooling and higher energy costs at the end of the month.

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Photo: Tulsa World

Another tip: The DOE advises setting the AC fan speed to high, unless it's an exceptionally humid day. Set the fan to a low setting on humid days. Why? More moisture will be removed from the air and your home's comfort will increase at the slower speed.

It might be time to upgrade to a programmable or "smart" thermostat, which can be set to change the temperature in your house at specific times of the day, if you haven't already. With the help of a smart thermostat, you can keep your house at a comfortable temperature, and many of them can be controlled remotely.

Another crucial factor is the thermostat's location. The DOE advises that for it to operate effectively, it should be mounted on an interior wall away from drafts, doors, skylights, and windows.

Additionally, avoid positioning furnishings or drapes so that they would obstruct AC vents.

6.Install ceiling fans

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Photo: The Home Depot

Open the windows on the lower level of your home and, if you can, run ceiling fans on the upper level. The DOE advises closing windows near the fan and opening windows in rooms far from the fan if you live in a one-story home or apartment, preferably on the windward side of your building. Krigger argues that maintaining air flow inside the home is crucial.

According to Vermont-based energy consultant and author Paul Scheckel of Parsec Energy, moving air also aids in evaporating sweat from the skin. "Our bodies remove heat through evaporational cooling, which is an incredibly effective process," he claims. "Slight assistance can enhance the cooling effect."

There are plenty of ways you can get creative when it comes to staying cool and saving money. But when the heat of summer truly hits, sometimes your best bet is cranking up the AC. Learning how to use an air conditioner economically can help you keep your cool physically and budget-wise.
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