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Yes, there’s a price to pay for a house cooled by air conditioning. But by using air conditioning wisely, you can reduce that price. Here’s how, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Energy:


  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible – at 78 degrees or higher.
  • Use a programmable/smart thermostat to adjust the setting on your air conditioner at night or when no one is home; avoid using the air conditioner when you are not home.
  • Use a fan with your window air conditioner to spread cool air effectively through your home.
  • Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner; it won’t cool your house any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
  • Don’t place lamps or TVs near your unit’s thermostat; the heat from the appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
  • Shade your existing condenser with a screen or foliage so it’s not in direct sunlight or place it on the north side of your house if you are adding a new unit — you may reduce your energy cost by 1 percent to 2 percent; however, don’t obstruct air flow around the unit.
  • Locate a room air conditioner in a window or wall near the center of the room and on the shadiest wall; seal gaps between the unit and the window with foam weatherstripping.