Summer is coming soon to a home near you. In fact, it’s coming to your home…unless you live somewhere weird.

There are ways to cut cooling costs. Practical ways.

You don’t have to spend thousands to save hundreds.

Unless you want to do that. But you don’t want to do that.

That would be dumb. I don’t even know why we are still talking about it.

Since you don’t want to do that, do this…

1. Cool Naturally

An air conditioner isn’t the only way to cool your home. Try opening the windows.

No, not during the heat of the day, but on cool nights.

Open windows to save money
Try opening your window. You may have a view like this that you didn’t even know about…yeah, probably not.

Be aware of the upcoming temperatures and plan when to open and close your windows. You can save some serious cash by using natural cooling at the right times.

Make sure the humidity is below 60%. Your unit will have to work hard to remove the moisture left inside if it’s over 60% and that could eliminate all your savings.

2. Move Out of the Air’s Way

Blocking vents with furniture or other things can cause your system to work twice as hard.

Keep the air flowing freely throughout your home by leaving vents and doors open.

Even using vent covers and shutting doors to unused rooms has been shown to cost more than leaving them all open.

3. Shut it Down

Remember this for your shades and your air unit.

Keep the shades closed and invest in darkening curtains. Keeping the heat out in the first place will keep your bill low.

Room Darkening Curtains to save money
Great for keeping out the sun, but not so great about keeping out creeper cats.

For your unit, don’t totally shut it down when you leave since that will cause the unit to work even harder when you return, but remember to turn it up.

There’s no reason to keep your home as cold as an ice box when you’re not there. Unless, of course, you have pet penguins.

4. Use the 1 Degree Method

Start by keeping your home 1 degree warmer at night. If you’re used to 68, try 69. It’s not much of a difference, really.

After you get comfortable with that temperature, turn it up one more degree.

Over several weeks, you may be surprised to find that you are as comfortable at 75 as you were at 68. Each degree can make a noticeable difference in your bill.

5. Give Your Air Some Air

Make sure your air conditioning unit is clear of shrubs, trees and plants.

The unit will be working harder than it needs to if it can’t properly receive airflow.

Save money on Air Conditioning cost
Yeah, don’t do that.

Clearing the area around your unit can save up to 10% on your bill.

6. Plant a Tree

Plant a tree or two in front of your biggest windows to block heat, but not just any tree…

Go for a tree that is leafless in the winter to benefit from solar heat. Double the savings, double the fun.

Final Words

If you are able to do all of these, you may be looking at a 10%-20% savings in your overall cooling costs…maybe even more.

That will add up quickly.

If you can’t do all, just do a few. Any is better than none.

Either way you’re saving some money. Learn more ways to save money here.

Photo Credit: Steve Fernie, Dorena-WM, George Buchholz, Rachel Ramos