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How to Lower Cooling Costs in the Summer


We all know how hot and humid summers are across the Cincinnati area, leaving homeowners here to crank up their air conditioning units for some relief. But if you’ve found yourself doing a double-take when looking over your most recent energy bill, it’s only natural to look for ways to save energy and reduce cooling costs to keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet.

Heating and cooling costs make up the lion’s share of your total energy spending, about 43%, according to Energy Star. With that in mind, the HVAC technicians at Nelson Comfort discuss some easy ways to save on your electricity bill this summer by cutting down on cooling costs.

Tips to Save Money on Cooling Costs This Summer

These simple tips can help you save a significant amount of money on your cooling costs while still keeping you and your family members comfortable during the dog days of summer.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

The best way to keep your air conditioner running optimally is to schedule an annual AC tune up. During a tune up, our HVAC system technicians can catch any issues that lead to performance issues which can make your system work harder to cool your home. The harder your air conditioner works to properly cool your home, the more energy it uses, thus increasing your cooling costs.

Replace Air Filters Regularly

When HVAC air filters are dirty and clogged, they put more strain on your HVAC unit, causing it to work harder to circulate air. This, in turn, causes energy bills to rise. We typically recommend replacing filters every three months, but check your system’s owner’s manual to learn the recommended changing interval for your system.

Protect Your Outdoor Condensing Unit

To prevent airflow obstructions that can lead to inefficient cooling, remove any leaves, mulch, grass clippings, or other debris which have gathered along the outdoor unit’s fins. It’s also a good idea to ensure that there are two feet of clearance around the condenser to promote good airflow by pruning nearby shrubs and removing weeds along the unit.

Planting trees and bushes near the outdoor condenser, or adding a pergola or window awnings, can block direct sunlight to reduce solar heat gain indoors.

Use Your Thermostat Wisely

Set your programmable or smart thermostat based around your schedule. For example, while you’re out of town or at work, set the desired temperature to a higher setting. Setting your programmable thermostat seven to 10 degrees higher while you’re away from home for more than two hours can save you up to 10% on your monthly air conditioning costs.

Block Direct Sunlight

You can prevent solar heat gain in your home by keeping curtains, blinds and shades closed throughout the day, especially on sunny days. Highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Also, try to use light-colored treatments, rather than dark colors, to deflect the sun’s rays.

Install Ceiling Fans

Run your ceiling fans counterclockwise during the summer to create a downdraft and wind-chill effect. Although ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature in the room, the air circulation can help evaporate moisture from the skin to keep your body feeling cooler. You may be able to set your thermostat up to 4 degrees higher when ceiling fans are running. Just remember to turn the fan off when you’re not in the room to avoid wasting electricity.

Reduce Heat During the Day

If possible, try to limit the use of heat- and moisture-producing appliances and activities during the daytime. This can include cooking, showering and running the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher. Instead, consider hanging clothes outdoors or making a meal that doesn’t require the stove or oven.

Check Vents and Return Air Grilles

Check that return air grilles and supply vents are unobstructed throughout your home to ensure that they’re supplying cool air. You can clean vent covers with a vacuum.

New Air Conditioner Installation Services from Nelson Comfort

If your air conditioning system is about 15 years old, the best way to cut air conditioning costs is by replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model. According to, you may be able to save 20 to 40% on cooling costs by purchasing an energy-efficient model.

Keep the hot air out of your home and welcome cold air in with AC installation from Nelson Comfort. Our experienced technicians can assist you in choosing a new air conditioner that’s the right size and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating for your home.

Contact Nelson Comfort for AC Services

At Nelson Comfort, we understand that the energy costs to operate your cooling system in the hot summer months can add up. But by following the tips we’ve provided, you’ll be able to lower your energy bill in no time! For all of your air conditioner repair, maintenance and installation needs, don’t hesitate to contact Nelson Comfort today.

About The Author


Dan Detmer

Dan Detmer is the owner of Nelson Comfort. Dan was born into the heating and cooling industry, coming from a family of well respected HVAC contractors in Dayton, Ohio. After working in the family business, Dan decided to work for a local HVAC wholesale business helping local contractors grow their business. When he felt his heart moving him back into the residential and light commercial business, Dan joined the Mortimer Heating & Cooling team in Cincinnati, where he had called home and become part of the community for several years. After a short period of time Dan purchased the company and created what is today, Nelson Comfort. Today he operates a company based on integrity, honesty, and stellar customer service. If you have any questions feel free to tweet (at sign) NelsonComfort and we will get right back with you!

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