While there are alternatives to having an air conditioner (AC) in your home that will limit your energy consumption, such as a swamp cooler or simply a two-way window fan, some people live in parts of the country where it would simply be dangerous to not have an air conditioner in the house. Particularly if you're older or dealing with illness, a lack of AC can be a medical hazard if you live in the desert or the South.
We've assembled a few pieces of advice that will help you conserve electricity and keep your power bill from skyrocketing in the summer:
- Have your AC unit regularly serviced: Even if it seems to be working fine, there may be ways in which your AC unit is wasting power that you're unaware of, and a certified repairman may be able to help fix such problems.
- Insulate your vents: If you have a basement, block any vents between your home and this area. Cool air is denser and will sink to a lower room if vents to that room are not properly insulated.
- Only buy an Energy Star-rated unit: Appliances rated with Energy Star status use far less electricity than equivalent components without this ranking. They're designed to conserve power and use the latest technology.
- Use a window unit: Cooling off a small room instead of the entire house saves a bundle on utility bills and helps the environment. Try designating a particular room as a cool zone, where you can spend time when the heat becomes unbearable.