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Tightwad Tidbits for Frugal Living  

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Air Conditioning



You can save money on your air conditioning in several ways.  Have your air conditioning unit serviced regularly so that it is operating at peak performance.  Do not place it in the sun. 


Keep the drapes closed on windows on the south or west side of your home that are letting in a lot of sunlight. Plant your landscaping with deciduous trees that provide shade to your home in the summer.


Keep your roof and house in light colors, so they don't absorb heat.  As with your heating, make sure cooled air is not escaping from gaps or holes in your home, or inadequate insulation or lack of roof vents to let heat escape.


Use a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature when you are away from home.  Set the temperature as high as comfort allows. 


A more thrift friendly way to cool your home is with an evaporative cooler, also known as a swamp cooler.  These work well in desert areas with dry heat.  They don't work well in humid weather.  You can "piggyback" these 2 units, so that you only have to use the air conditioner during the rainy season.  For a "makeshift" evaporative cooler, put some frozen or ice water in a dish and put a fan behind it to blow the cool air on you.


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Frugal footnotes:


Here are a few more frugal tips to save money on air-conditioning.

- Close rooms and shut off the vents of rooms you don't use on a regular basis.
- Check your ducts and inspect for holes or areas where cool air can escape.
- Be sure your attic is both insulated and has the proper amount of air vents.
- Change your filter per the instructions of your unit.
- Maintain coils or fans by cleaning them on a regular basis.
- Add room darkening window shades to windows that get direct sunlight in the summer.
Finally, turn you thermostat up one degree to save up to 10% on your bill.  If you are using an older unit and planning on staying in your home for several more years,  think about upgrading  to a newer, energy efficient  model.   Do the math to see if saving 20-40% on air-conditioning costs will save you money in the long run.








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