The heat of summer can be overbearing in even the most temperate climates. To get some relief, many turn up the air conditioning to keep their home cool. But your air conditioner may not be running at its highest efficiency, resulting in uneven temperatures and higher energy bills. Here are six tips to keep your air conditioner efficient and your home comfortable.

  1. Adjust your thermostat.

Your first instinct may be to turn your AC down as low as you can get it. But by raising your thermostat by just a few degrees, you can save both money and energy. Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature, or upgrade to a programmable thermostat to set an automatic schedule for times when you’re out of the house.

  1. Close your blinds or curtains.

During the hottest part of the day, make sure your curtains and blinds are closed to block out the sun. Direct sun can warm the air inside your home, making your air conditioner work harder and cause inconsistent temperatures in your rooms.

  1. Clean your AC unit.

Your outdoor unit can take on a lot of wear and tear as the seasons pass. Make sure your outdoor condenser is free of leaves, grass clippings, and dirt, and have it thoroughly cleaned by a professional once a year. This will ensure that your AC is receiving proper air flow.

  1. Replace the filter.

Your air conditioner’s filter will get clogged with dust, pet fur, and hair over time, and should be replaced every 1-3 months (depending on the type of filter you use). If you replace your filters regularly, your air conditioner will be more efficient and you’ll have better air quality as well.

  1. Rearrange your rooms.

Arrange your rooms to account for air vents on the floor or wall. Make sure these vents are unobstructed by furniture or curtains, and vacuum them often to keep them free of hair and dust. Check your vents to ensure that clothes, toys, and other small items aren’t blocking the airflow.

  1. Keep humidity in check.

If your home is humid, your AC will have to work harder to keep the air cool. Use your bathroom exhaust fan when showering and your stove-top exhaust fan while cooking. If you’re tempted to give your AC a break by opening the windows, don’t. This can let in more humidity and make it harder to cool your home when the weather heats back up.

Keeping cool in the dead of summer often seems like an impossible task. But by optimizing your living space and ensuring that your AC is running efficiently, you can get the most out of your money and your energy. These six tips will help you keep comfortable during hot weather and improve the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.

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