Ben Armstrong of PECO says there are easy steps you can take to cut your air-conditioning costs.
First, try to place a/c units in shady spots.
Pointing a unit where we intervied him, Armstrong said, "The placement of the air conditioning unit here, is absolutely wonderful because it's surrounded by trees and shrubs that shade the condenser. That will help ensure that the condenser runs more efficiently."
Window units work best in spots that don't get direct sun as well. As for other windows in your home, draw your shades, blinds or curtains.
Armstrong says, "You would be amazed at the impact that the sun's heat can have on the efficiency of the devices that you use to cool your home. The best thing you can do is keep your shades drawn, your blinds drawn, especially during the afternoon hours to reduce the thermal impact of heating of the sun."
Also, make sure your air conditioner filters are clean, and try to use other appliances, such as dishwashers or clothes dryers, at night.
And find alternatives to using your full-size oven.
Armstrong adds, "When the weather is nice and we're not in a period where we're seeing storms, it's a great opportunity to use a grill or a smaller grilling device outside the home, to make sure that you're not creating that heat inside the home."
And while it's fine to turn room air-conditioners off when you're not home, for central air, it's best just to let the temperature go up a couple of degrees.
He explains, "It's ok to raise the temperature a few degrees using a programmable thermostat when you're not at home. A few degrees is what's key. If you raise it too much, it's going to cause the a/c unit to work much harder when you return to come down to that optimal temperature for your comfort."
For more of PECO's tips on saving money on summer cooling, click here.