You’re split.

On one hand, you hate how your utility bills skyrocket during summer (one of the Metro Atlanta-area’s “fun” points.)

But on the other hand, you don’t want to turn the thermostat up.

Who could blame you? When it comes down to it, comfort trumps energy savings.

But you don’t have to pick one over the other.

Here are 5 no-cost ways to cut those summer utility bills while still staying comfortable.

1) Use your ceiling fans...strategically
When you turn on the ceiling fan, it does not actually cool your room, it just makes you feel cooler because of wind chill. So here’s what you should do:

a) Turn on your ceiling fans
b) Turn the thermostat up about 4 degrees

According to the U.S Department of Energy, you’ll feel just as comfortable while saving money!

2) Close drapes
Tell the sun to mind its own business by closing your drapes. This will help keep a room cooler and reduce heat gain (medium-colored drapes with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%.)

By reducing heat gain, you won’t have to cool your home as much, meaning your air conditioner will work less, saving you money!

3) Change the air filter
Your air filter’s main job is to protect your air conditioner from dust and dirt so it can work properly.

But once the filter is filled with dirt, it’s just blocking airflow, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. The friend has turned foe!

Check your air filter at least once a month (and change or clean it when it’s dirty).

Learn more about air filters and their MERV ratings.

4) Master your thermostat
Let’s be honest, your air conditioner does not need to cool your home the same temperature when you’re not there or when you’re asleep.

OK, so here’s how you should set it so you can stay comfortable and keep utility bills low:

a) Set it at 78 degrees when your home and awake.
b) Raise it up 8 degrees when you’re away.

Do this consistently, and you can cut 10% off your monthly cooling bills.

We won’t recommend how you should set it when you sleep because, honestly, that’s a personal preference.

If you hate messing with your thermostat all the time, we recommend installing a programmable thermostat to do it for you.

5) Clean off the outside of your air conditioner
What happens when you wear a sweater in the middle of summer? That’s right, you overheat and wonder why the heck you’re wearing a sweater in the middle of summer.

That’s what it’s like when your air conditioner’s outside unit gets covered in grass, dirt, dust and other junk. It’s like it’s wearing a sweater, making harder to disperse heat from the refrigerant.

This runs your air conditioner longer than needed, raising your utility bills as a result.

Keep the outside of your AC unit clear and have a professional clean it for you.

Ragsdale Heating, Plumbing and Air has been serving Dallas, Powder Springs, Acworth, Douglasville, Rockmart and the metro Atlanta area for over 20 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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