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8 ways to lower your air conditioning bill this summer

1. Upgrade your windows

If your home has old windows, they might not be energy efficient. You can cut the costs of cooling your home by installing new energy-efficient windows. Some upfront cost is involved, but you’ll make it up in the long run with lower bills.

2. Seal your windows

Poorly sealed windows leak air, which makes your air conditioning system work harder. Caulking leaks or cracks and weather stripping your windows will prevent cool air from leaking out of your windows.

3. Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats cut energy usage by adjusting temperatures while you’re away or asleep. You can program them yourself or purchase one that slowly adapts to your temperature preferences. Some can even be set up with an app away from home.

4. Use ceiling fans

Ceiling fans circulate cool air, taking some of the burden off your air conditioning system. Use your existing ceiling fans (or install them throughout the house) to increase energy efficiency.

5. Replace your HVAC air filters

Air filters keep your HVAC system running smoothly by preventing dust from blocking your vents and promoting air circulation. If the filters are dirty, your system will have to work harder to circulate air.

You’ll want to replace your filters at least every few months, and possibly more if you have pets or kids. Luckily, air filters are cheap and easy to switch by yourself.

6. Reduce the sunlight

Sunlight streaming in through your windows raises the temperature of your home. By blocking the sunlight, you can calm that effect. Planting some shade trees outside your windows can curb encroaching sunlight while blackout shades or curtains are another low-cost option.

7. Insulate your walls and attics

Windows aren’t the only part of your home that leak air. Attics, walls and crawl spaces lose air as well. Professionally insulating your home is one of the best ways to increase energy efficiency. If you have an older home, this could be worth the investment.

8. Find lower ground

Heat rises, so avoid the upper floors of your home as much as possible. By doing this, you can probably leave your thermostat set to a higher temperature for longer periods during the day. You can lower the temperature at night if your bedroom’s upstairs.