When your air conditioner is on, you need to close up your home, just like you do in the heating season.
Windows and doors are the biggest cause of wasted energy money.
If your exterior doors and windows are not in perfect condition, tell your property owner in writing that these need to be fixed. Express your concern for security, wood rot and bugs from moisture leaking in.
Do not focus on your energy cost in the letter. Make sure you express your concern for safety, security and the protection of the property in the letter.
Send the letter by US Mail and request that you get a signed delivery receipt. Mailing it this way will show the property owner that you are serious. If they ignore the request, they know that they are taking on some safety and liability risk. Keep a copy of the letter together with the delivery receipt. Send the letter when your next rent payment is due. Then you can include the rent check with the letter. That saves a little postage and reminds them that you do pay your rent on time.
If the owner will not fix the doors and windows quickly do it yourself. Protect your bank account by weather stripping and caulking to stop energy leaks.
If you do not have one, get a programmable digital thermostat installed. Offer to buy the thermostat if they will install it. The cost of a good, but inexpensive, thermostat will pay for itself in one season. Look for one on sale for $30 to $60.
Read your electric bill. If your electric utility company charges a different rate at different times of the day it will show up as “on peak” and “off peak” charges. If it is not clear on the bill, check their web site or call them up and find out what times of the day are “on peak”.
During the air conditioning season you can over cool your rental home during “off peak” hours and under cool during “on peak” hours by programming the thermostat. This will save money because the “on peak” price for power is usually about double the “off peak” price.
If the utility company does not use peak hours, use the thermostat to turn the a/c up ten degrees while you are not home. You can program it to start cooling the place down an hour before you normally get home so it will be comfortable for you.
You need to do some “do it yourself” maintenance to get the maximum efficiency from the cooling equipment.
If your rental home has central air conditioning, check the outdoor unit. Make sure that the air cooling coils are clean and clear of anything that obstructs the airflow. Get leaves and yard trash away from the unit. Wash it out with a garden hose.
I once forgot to remove the winter protective cover on my a/c. It cost me extra cash until I figured out the odd noise coming from the a/c was due to the blocked airflow.
Replace air filters to get the maxim free flow of air to move the cooling air.
For window, units there are a few critical checks to make. Out side, the coils must get good airflow and the water drain on the bottom of the housing must be clear to let the condensed water out. If the drain is plugged, the coils will ice over blocking the airflow.
Window units usually have a removable cover, on the inside, that holds a washable air filter in place. Wash the filter and keep it clean to save money and for better health.
During hot weather, use your microwave for cooking. It will not heat up the place like the stove or big oven will. Or do what I do, have pizza delivered, or go out to eat. Turn the a/c off on your way out the door.
Click here for a free money saving report titled HOW SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT HEATING BILL
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure you subscribe to my RSS Feed or the ENERGY BOOMER by email.