1. Put your AC on a timer We use timers for our ovens, our washers and other appliances. Why not for our air conditioners? If you have a window unit, you can buy an inexpensive plug-in timer at the hardware store and set it to come on an hour before you get home from work. If you have central air, simply install a thermostat with a built-in timer.
2. Sleep with the AC off Depending on how hot the evenings are, you can save on your air conditioning bill by turning it off at bedtime. Just set the timer to shut off the AC an hour after you fall asleep and then have it come on a hour before you wake up.
3. Install ceiling fans Ceiling fans over your bed, over the dinner table and around the house can help lower your cooling costs. They also use electricity, but not nearly as much.
4. Use sun block Not the kind that you slather over your skin when you go to the beach, but the kind of sun block that keeps the sun out of your living areas. This can include draperies, blinds, outside awnings, window tints and insulated glass. Cardboard also works.
5. Caulk drafty windows This will save on cooling and heating costs both.