Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor

It's HOT! I don't know about you but I am one major beast when I get hot. We are stationed in the south so it is hot most of the year, but these past few summers have been hotter than most. Even my friends on the east coast and in the north who typically get cooler weather are suffering "above normal" temperatures this summer. It's definitely a time to appreciate your air conditioner.


This past year at Fort Sill, OK residents became responsible for paying for our electricity if we use "above and beyond" normal usage. Last year we got hit unexpectedly with a rather large electricity bill during the summer, so we're trying hard to not have a repeat of that scenario this year. Don't get me wrong, we love our cool moving air so we're not willing to turn it off, but we are willing to make a few easy adjustments. I scoured the web and found some easy ways to save on air conditioning - ways I can live with - and listed below my top ten.


  1. Turn off lights when not in use.
  2. Minimize the use of your oven. Microwaves, crock pots, grills and toaster ovens are great warm-weather stand-ins - and hey, a reason not to cook!
  3. Keep curtains and blinds closed during the heat of the day.
  4. Plant fast-growing shade trees along the south and west side of your house - though probably not possible if you are in on-post housing. You can water and keep the ones that you have healthy to help out. That's our mission.
  5. Set the thermostat for your central air conditioning system at the highest comfortable setting (78-80 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended). We are 75 degree people, but consistency is the key.
  6. Close doors and vents of unused rooms to avoid cooling these areas.
  7. When possible, use fans to keep cool instead of an air conditioner. Fans consume only a small fraction of the energy of an air conditioner. However, there is no need to leave the fan on if you are not in the room to enjoy it. Actually, quite the opposite, you'll waste energy and the fan motor will warm the room. So, turn the fan off if you aren't in the room for it to cool you.
  8. Clean or replace air conditioner filters regularly; keep outside units free from leaves or debris that may clog vents.
  9. Rearrange your furniture - furniture that obstructs air conditioning vents means you could be cooling the back of a chair or the bottom side of your sofa and although it might appreciate the thought, I'm pretty sure you'd rather have that chill instead.
  10. Make sure your doors and windows are well sealed. You'll pay a lot more to cool your home when the cold air easily escapes.




How do you save on cooling costs?