Cool Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

We spend roughly $265 a year on air conditioning costs each year. As anyone who has tried to endure a sweltering Tennesee summer without AC can tell you, it’s absolutely worth the cost. However, there are techniques you can use to chip away at the expense. Used together, these tips can significantly lower your electricity bill.


Block Out the Sun

Windows are responsible for about 25% of the heat gain in a typical home. Window blinds and blackout curtains can help reduce some of the burden on your central air system. Planting vines on the south side of the house will keep siding from heating up, too.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can make you feel up to eight degrees cooler through the wind-chill effect. That means you can bump the thermostat up several degrees without compromising your comfort. Ceiling fans will also help distribute cool air from your AC.

Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down.


Humidity is the enemy of comfort. Buy a hygrometer, which measures moisture vapor, and try to humidity levels between 30% and 50%. Foggy windows are a sure sign your indoor humidity is too high.

Fortunately, your air conditioning system is going to do a lot of the work for you. Part of its job is to remove moisture from the air. However, you can do your part, too.

  • Use exhaust fans when you’re showering or cooking

  • Hang clothes outside to dry

  • Don’t too many houseplants or relocate them to the outside

Cook Early, Late or Outside

There's no question that the BTUs spent on cooking food indoors will translate into increased cooling bills. Preparing meals during the wee hours of the morning won't overly tax your A/C unit's capacity. Barbecuing outside in the shade is an even better idea.

Program Your Thermostat

If you have a programmable thermostat, take a moment to actually program it. (Most of us, sadly, don’t bother.) Creating a cooling schedule around your daily routine will reduce your AC’s energy consumption by about 10%.

You can create an M-F setting, scheduling your thermostat to drift to higher temperatures while you’re away at work, and lowering again to your preferred setpoint about 30 minutes before you come back home. Your house will be just as comfortable as you left it.

Or you can upgrade to a smart thermostat. This device takes manual programming out of the equation because it learns your daily patterns. It can tell when you’re home and when you’re away and adjust settings automatically for maximum efficiency.

Seal Up Leaky Windows and Doors

Allowing air to pass from the outside to the inside via peripheral gaps is a real energy suck. Rubber or latex weather stripping outside can do wonders and costs just a few bucks. On the inside, using caulk between the molding and the wall is just as effective.

Opt for Textiles That Breathe

Keeping cool is tough if the fabrics in your home retain moisture and heat. Light cotton sheets are a must. What's more, a buckwheat pillow will keep your head cool as you sleep. Swap out wool rugs and upholstery with cotton-based textiles whenever possible to prevent heat accumulation.

Turn to the Experts

If you’ve implemented all of these measures and your electricity bill is still sky-high, turn to the pros at Griffin Mechanical, LLC. We can inspect your HVAC infrastructure to pinpoint inefficiencies, such as leaky ductwork or faulty equipment. It could also be that your central air system has reached the end of its useful life. A new, more efficient model will save you as much as 40 percent on your cooling costs. To schedule your consultation, call (615) 502-3030 today.