How to Cut Air Conditioning Costs

If you want to know how to cut air conditioning costs by adopting some simple yet effective ideas, here are some great ones you can make use of right away!

Even in a cool climate, air conditioning is still necessary. There are also chances that there will be days when the temperature rises high enough to make air conditioning necessary.

A central air conditioner that runs continuously in warmer climates can lead to monthly electricity bills of up to $200 per month. This is roughly the amount that an average household spends on all their electricity needs. The air conditioner can increase your electricity bill by up to twofold.

how to cut ac costsIt doesn't mean you have to accept a dramatic increase in energy prices.

Start with Purchase Price

You can save money by shopping smartly. However, it will likely cost you a little more to get an energy-efficient unit that will ultimately save you money in the long run.

There are so many different cooling solutions available, it can seem like a minefield in the store before you. Just put your smart hat on and check the purchase prices against the features to get the best value equipment you can afford.

When shopping for an AC unit, consider efficiency as a prime factor in your decision making process. An efficient unit, such as a self evaporating portable air conditioner will use less energy and save you money in the long run.

You can save even more money by being smart about how you use the unit and taking steps to not waste the cool air it produces.

Increase Airflow

There are a few things you can do to increase the airflow in your home. This will allow cool air to reach where it is most needed: your body.

Central air offers the best convenience. The thermostat sets the temperature and the central air system sends cold air to all rooms at once.

Central air is not necessarily the most cost-effective option, however, because a central air system's condenser draws around 3,500 Watts (as opposed to 900-1,500 watts for an average window-unit).

A very inexpensive option is, if you live in an area with very low humidity in summer, is to opt for a ventless portable air conditioner, more accurately known as an evaporative cooler or swamp cooler. If humidity is high however, this type of cooling device will not work well.

Consider installing window units only in the rooms you use most. Keep the doors closed to all other rooms if money is an issue.

Take a look at the SEER Rating

You can choose an Energy Star-rated model, regardless of whether you are looking for a central air unit or window unit. This model uses on average 15 percent less electricity than models without this rating.

Pay attention to the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The machine will be more efficient if it has a higher SEER rating.

To pass government inspection, the SEER must be at minimum 13. However, units with SEERs higher than 23 are possible.

Get the Right Size Unit

A window air conditioner's rating is determined by the size of the room. A unit too big for your room is a waste of money.

But don't buy a window AC unit that is too small, either.

If the unit is not large enough, it will run more frequently than it should. This can lead to a waste of money in excess energy being used.

Consider adding an AC mister to your central system if you choose a central system. The AC mister sprays a steady mist onto the condenser, which keeps it cool and increases its efficiency.

After the condenser has been installed, ensure that there is no vegetation or grass in the vicinity to prevent air from leaking.

Wise Use of the Air Conditioner

One common myth is that leaving your system on 24/7 can save you energy, even if you're not there.

It is believed that the unit does not have to work as hard as to maintain a comfortable temperature, as opposed to cooling down a hot area. However, the truth is that only using an air conditioner when it's needed will save you money on energy.

It doesn't matter all that much to allow the house heat up if you're not actually there!

These are other tips that will help you keep your expenses low:

Install a thermostat on an interior wall that is shaded if you are installing one. It will make the house seem hotter than it really is, and it will run the air conditioners too often if it is in direct sunlight.

Reduce the Thermal Exchange from the Outside

Budget-conscious homeowners, especially those with children, often say "Close the doors; don't cool the outside."

This is a good idea, but it should not be limited to closing the doors or windows.

Limit heat-generating activities such as drying and cooking to the cooler hours of the day. Heating the house while the air conditioner is on is a sure way to increase cooling costs.

These Home Improvements Can Help

Even though you might take great care to seal your home, it is possible to spend more on cooling your home than you actually need.

Consider painting the exterior of your house in a light shade and installing a reflective roofing. Metal roofs are more reflective than shingles and other composite materials, and last longer. A white-painted SPF (spray Polyurethane Foam) roof system is another great option.

Ceiling fans circulate air inside the house and distribute warm air around your body. Because it circulates warm air from the ceiling, a ceiling fan can increase the efficiency of your heating system.

It doesn't matter if you have central air or window AC units. You need to clean your filters often.

The condenser will work harder and produce more heat if the filters get dirty. The service life of your condenser will decrease and your energy bills will go up.


The end game is to keep your air conditioning system's running costs at a minimum where possible, without compromising on comfort during hot weather.

The best way to do that is, as explained above, to manage the system sensibly, set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature and if possible turn down (or off) AC units in rooms that are not occupied.

The more efficiently your AC runs, the less power it will waste, ultimately saving you money on your next electricity bill!