5 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning

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Young happy man sitting on couch operating air conditioner with remote control
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

As the temperature exceeds triple digits in many locations this summer, our electric bills are spiraling upward with the heat index.

Except for a hardy few, going without air conditioning is probably not a practical cost-cutting measure. Still, there are ways to save energy and cut your electric bill.

We consulted the websites of Florida Power & Light and the U.S. Department of Energy for advice about how to save.

Consider a window unit

Window air conditioner
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If you don’t have central air, consider a new window unit. These have improved considerably in recent decades, and a modern window unit uses half the electricity of one from the 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website.

Look for a unit that is Energy Star-rated and has an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 10 or higher.

Watch your thermostat

Woman adjusts thermostat
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Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or above in the summer.

Turn off fans when you leave a room

Ceiling fan
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Use ceiling fans to stay cooler, but turn the fans off when you leave the room. The fans don’t cool the room, just the inhabitants.

Check for air leaks

Weatherproofing or winterizing a window, sealing leaks with a caulk gun
Michael O’Keene / Shutterstock.com

Seal air leaks around windows, doors and vents.

Refresh your filters

Man with an air conditioner filter
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Change your air conditioning filter every month.

Have you heard these tips before? Of course. But when was the last time you changed your air conditioning filter? Confess. This may be the summer to get serious.

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