Cool Tips for Reducing Summer Air Conditioning Costs in Chicago

I love summer - that is, until I get my first big air conditioning bill of the season.

Cooling and heating costs account for more than half of a typical utility bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you can reduce your need for artificial temperature, think of the savings you can reap.

Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest that you go cold turkey and spend all summer sans cool air, especially if you live in a hot, humid climate. But by making a few small changes now, you could be sweating a lot less when you open your next bill, according to Chicago bankruptcy lawyers. And that's pretty important for those of us already dealing with debt and other financial obligations.

If you're going to splurge on artificial air, make sure your air conditioning unit is running as efficiently as possible. The harder it works, the more you pay. That means replacing the filters every now and then so they don't become clogged. It could also mean leaving your air conditioning on while you're at work. Yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but turning the air on when you get home means your device is going to have to work extra hard to cool the whole house down. By letting it run constantly - but lowering it a few degrees when you're gone - you could actually save money.

Consider air conditioning alternatives. Yes, I know we're all accustomed to our creature comforts, but think of it this way. If you can't stand the heat, you can always turn the air back on. But if you can survive, you stand to save big. If you own your own place, plant some trees around your home. Shade equals cooler temperatures - sometimes 10 degrees or more cooler - for years to come. Don't forget about the original chill factor - cross-ventilation. At night, open lots of windows so the breeze can enter and exit your house. On that note, make sure your fans are working correctly - if they're all blowing air into your home or down from your ceiling, they're just blowing around the hot air. Set ceiling fans to blow upward, and standing fans to blow both inside your house and out.

Obviously you don't want to pass out from heat exhaustion, but a little sweating from the weather is better than a lot of sweating because you can't pay the bills. That said, if you've cut out every luxury from life - including cool air - and you're still struggling financially, consider getting help. Bankruptcy can help lower debt, which in turn can lower the bills. Find out if bankruptcy can help you cool off your financial troubles with a free personal debt analysis courtesy of a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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