One of the best and most efficient ways to lower your expenses on your energy bills during the summer is to consider the many ways to reduce the use of your air conditioner. The harder the AC unit must work, the more power it will draw and it will cost even more money. Keeping as much warm air as possible out of your home is probably a good way to start. By keeping your windows, blinds and curtains shut, you significantly reduce the sun’s ability to warm the air your air conditioner is working so hard to keep cool. The air conditioner is moving air throughout the duct system, so it’s also crucial that you keep the airflow as open as possible. By changing air filters regularly and by checking to make sure the fan is free to run effortlessly, the AC unit is able to move air without obstruction, thereby making it’s work much more efficient. Cooking hot meals, especially during the hottest time of the day, results in at least one part of the home heating to uncomfortable levels. The initial reaction is to move the thermostat down a tad, and the AC unit begins to cool to a lower temperature. Unfortunately, the AC is cooling all of the home, not just the part of the house that is warm, and now it’s working harder to do so. Some experts have recommended less cooking during the summer, or at least cooking during cooler periods of the day, and making use of smaller appliances such as the microwave or grilling outdoors. Many homes are equipped with ceiling fans and these can help to cool a room immediately. Since the fan is really just moving hot air from the lower half of the room, it feels cooler and may help to use the air conditioning less. In the heat of the day, turn on a ceiling fan first, and only if the room is still unreasonably warm, use the AC. By using some or all of these suggestions, a home might be a little more comfortable overall, and the AC unit might need to be used much less.