Keeping your home cool in the hot southern summer can be costly, but there are several ways you can minimize your cost and maximize your cooling. Here are some tips for keeping your house comfortable and your energy bill low.

1. Make sure your HVAC unit is clean

Making sure your HVAC unit is in tip top shape is one way you can be sure to have efficient air conditioning. One way to do this is to get a summer HVAC check done by a licensed maintenance technician. An HVAC technician can do routine cleaning and maintenance, and verify your system is in good shape. Sometimes, with older HVAC units, the best option may be to replace it with a newer model. Some new Energy Star units can save up to 50% of the energy that older models use, which means better cooling and lower costs!

2. Regularly replace air filters

When the air filter in your HVAC unit is dirty, the system has to work harder and use more energy to produce the same results. So, to improve efficiency and air quality, make sure to always replace your air filter according to system requirements. Some units need air filters replaced every few months, while others may do better with a new filter each month. You can also look into upgrading to a media filter, which only have to be changed every six months to a year. Check with your HVAC professional to see what the best option is for your unit.

3. Heat rises, so use fans

Everyone knows that heat rises, and cool air sinks. In the summer, that can mean the upper level of your home is sweltering. While your basement is ice cold! Good air circulation is key to helping out your AC on those hot summer afternoons. Use ceiling or floor fans to help move air around your house. This will help your HVAC system to run better, use less energy, and keep your home’s temperature even.

4. You like shade, and so does your HVAC unit

When you set up for a picnic or barbeque, the food and chairs always go in the shade – and so should your HVAC unit! It’s important to keep debris and bushes out of your system, but when it comes to beating the heat and lowering your bills, giving your HVAC unit a shady place to work can help a lot! Shade from a tree or structure can help alleviate some work from your unit, while saving on energy consumption.

5. Check your vents

Sometimes we open or close air vents around our homes to regulate temperature, and these closed vents can make a big difference when it comes to air conditioning! Take some time to walk around the inside and outside of your house to check for vents that might have accidentally been left closed throughout the year, while also making sure there is not debris hindering air flow. Dust can be cleared to improve the air quality in your home, and to ensure good air flow.