Reduce your AC bills with a more energy efficient home

The summer is in full swing now, with the sun beating down in a major way. As thermostats routinely hit upwards of 90 degrees, those without fans and air conditioners are cursing their increasingly hotter homes while those with air conditioning are cursing their increasingly higher electric bills. But what to do? If you've already spent the money on an AC unit – and your home is humid and muggy enough that you were forced to buy one – you can't just not use it. There must be some way to have your cake and eat it too, right?

Luckily, there is a way. Taking steps toward improving energy efficiency at home will allow you to bring down the cost of your AC bill while still cranking that cold air all summer long. Courtesy of Pegasus News, a Dallas/Fort Worth news source that knows all about keeping cool in the heat, here are a few guidelines for energy efficient homes this season:

  • Clean or replace your air conditioner filter: This checkup should be performed on your AC on a yearly basis. Cleaning, or outright removing, a clogged and dusty filter – which takes more energy than necessary to push cold air through – can improve your unit's efficiency by 15 percent.
  • Install a programmable thermostat: These handy appliances will regulate the temperature of your home and keep you cool when you need to be, without wasting electricity while you're away at work during the day.
  • Schedule an energy audit: Home inspection contractors can assess your property for ways in which you can improve energy efficiency and consequently bring down costs.

Maryland residents are encouraged to speak with local Maryland home inspectors to get energy audits of their own homes done, which can help to diminish energy bills this summer.