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It’s getting hot! Here are tips for slashing summer cooling costs

Air conditioners

OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s officially summertime, and many long, hot days lie ahead. Oklahomans will try to beat the heat by cranking up their AC and doing anything they can to keep cool. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy use in a typical U.S. home and it accounts for nearly 45 percent of monthly utility bills.

While temperatures and energy prices on the rise, there are a few ways you can trim costs without allowing your house to turn into a sauna.

The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accounts recommends the following tips to help keep you cooler without breaking the bank.

  1. Check your air conditioners filters. Depending on what type of filter your unit has, experts say it is best to either clean or replace filters once a month. Your air quality will be better and your unit will not have to work as hard trying to get air through a dirty filter.
  2. Make sure AC window units fit properly in the window and the area around is sealed tight so that you aren’t letting cool air out and hot air inside. For central units, check for holes or separated joints in the air ducts.
  3. If your AC unit is no longer cooling properly, you might consider investing in a newer, more energy efficient model. This can help cut energy costs and save money in the long run.
  4. Invest in a programmable thermostat, so that you can turn the temperature up a few degrees while you are away and have it cooling by the time you arrive back home.
  5. Move heat generating appliances away from thermostats and window units so it can’t trigger a false reading.
  6. Get the air circulating in your home with fans. Using fans with air conditioning can help better circulate the air and lower the internal temperature of your home.
  7. Stop drafts from windows by adding weather stripping, caulk or inexpensive plastic film to help with insulation.
  8. Keep curtains and or blinds closed during the heat of the day. You may also want to invest in some heat blocking curtains or blinds.
  9. Give the oven a rest, especially during the hottest portion of the day. Ovens can heat up the entire house. Eat a meal that doesn’t require any cooking, try using other small appliances or fire up the outside grill.
  10. Turn down the temperature setting of your water heater. You’ll save money by lowering the temperature by just five degrees.