With summer fast approaching, it’s time to start planning all the fun-filled outdoor activities that rising temperatures have to offer. While there’s plenty to look forward to, there’s also the undeniable fact that an increase in heat means an increase in cooling costs for your home. The following are a few tips that will help keep your thermostat low and your wallet heavy this summer.

Use Fans When You Can

No, a fan doesn’t cool a room on its own, but it can take the edge off of the otherwise sweltering heat. If you use an air conditioner in conjunction with a ceiling fan, it helps disperse cold air more efficiently and allows you to raise its thermostat by as much as four degrees.

As Low As You Can Go 

If the heat is at the point where AC is a necessity, then remember to run it at the highest temperature you can tolerate. You can easily save up to 18% off your electric bill by simply keeping your thermostat set a few degrees higher. A good rule of thumb is to have the AC kick on at 78 degrees, then adjust it to fit your comfort level from there.  Keep in mind, the smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures throughout the summer season, the less you’ll spend!


Even if you’re taking all other precautions to save money, if you don’t properly care for your equipment it won’t reduce your cooling costs. If your air conditioning filters are filthy, it will block airflow and make the system work harder to keep you cool. Cleaning and/or replacing filters once per month will lower an AC’s electricity usage by 5% to 15%. If you have a central cooling system, be sure that the vents aren’t blocked with debris or furniture.

Don’t Add “Fuel” to the “Fire”

Try to avoid activities that generate a lot of heat, like cooking on the stovetop and using the dishwasher or clothes dryer. You can utilize your microwave to cook, wash your dishes by hand, and hang your clothes on a clothesline to air dry outside. Televisions, computers, stereos, and basically every piece of electronic equipment in a home generates additional heat. Any abstinence from these activities will help your AC not work as hard to keep your house cool and save you extra money in the process.

Close the Drapes

Don’t hesitate to close your shades during the day. When completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, reflective drapes or blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45%. Keep in mind, the lighter the color, the more they’ll deflect the sun’s rays. Hang shades as close as you can to the window, as this enables them to also block outdoor heat from radiating inside.


The hotter it gets outside, the more your cooling system becomes part of your life. While AC will undoubtedly make your life easier, it could also dramatically increase your energy bill. Instead of fretting over electricity, implement these tips to save on cooling costs, and spend your summer enjoying the outdoors and time with your friends and family. For additional questions about heating and cooling, contact the experts at Don’s Heating and Cooling today!