Raise your thermostat to 78º. If you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can save for each degree of setback. This will reduce the amount of energy used to cool your home while you're away. You can learn more about your thermostat online by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows can add heat to your home and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
Check and clean filters. Cleaning and replacing air conditioning filters monthly allows the system to run more efficiently.
Clear attic vents. If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.
Install ceiling fans and make sure they are blowing down. Don't underestimate the importance of ceiling fans. Moving air over the body provides a cooling effect. Most fans have a switch to change the fan direction. Make sure ceiling fans are blowing downward (in a counter-clockwise direction) to send air past your body. Turn fans off when the room is unoccupied.
Postpone activities that require hot water and large energy use – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening. This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home. Use the dishwasher and clothes washer late in the evening. When used during the day, these appliances produce additional heat, causing your air conditioner to work harder.
Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. This will save on water heating costs.
Unplug equipment not in use. Electric chargers, televisions and audio/video equipment use electricity and produce heat even when they are not in use. Running an older refrigerator can use up to three times the energy of a modern one. Unplug any appliance when it's not in use.