How to Minimize Your Air Conditioning Costs This Summer

Apr 19 2022
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Living this far north in the United states generally means we don’t have to worry TOO much about air conditioning. We’ve got a couple of “cool” things going for us at Grandma’s house. a DEEP very old basement that never gets above 60 degrees and massive tree cover that helps shade the house. Last year was a completely out of the ordinary summer where we didn’t just put in the big old window air conditioning unit in the dining room but also bought a smaller one for our master bedroom. Fingers crossed we don’t see insane heat like that again!

I've been seeing bar top deck railings all over the internet the past year and it occurred to me that its definitely something we would get use out of!
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

There may still be a bit of a chill in the air, but there is no denying that the hot days of summer are on their way. As the spring turns into summer, now is the time to make sure that your home is ready for the warm weather. One of the most vital tasks you should have on your “to-do” list is making sure your HVAC is ready for the season.

You don’t want to be caught with an air conditioning system that isn’t working efficiently when the mercury starts to climb. Having an HVAC system working properly and efficiently can help you stay cool and save you a bundle on your energy bills. When you open up your monthly air conditioning bills, forcing your system to work harder by ignoring essential maintenance can make you sweat.

The good news is that with the proper seasonal maintenance from an air conditioner service and following some cool summer weather tips, you can save money and keep your home comfortable on the hottest days of the summer. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways to minimize your air conditioning costs this summer.

How to Maintain Your Air Conditioning System

The most crucial factor in reducing your air conditioning bills is to ensure that your HVAC unit is well maintained. An air conditioner that isn’t subject to regular maintenance will struggle to keep up to your cooling demands resulting in low efficiency and high energy bills. Here are a few HVAC maintenance tips.


Depending on your HVAC unit, your filters may be disposable or permanent. Both styles need to be maintained once a month. You should change out your filter or clean it at least once a month. When your filters become dirty and clogged with dirt, dust, and pollutants, your HVAC system has to work harder to force cooled air through your system.

It’s essential to keep some filters on hand. Most disposable filters come in multipacks, so you will always have them ready to change out. Note the manufacturer’s recommendation and size for your filters. You can use a standard filter or upgrade to a HEPA-style filter for more effective air cleansing.

Clear Around Outdoor Unit

If the central part of your HVAC is located outside your home, you will need to keep the area well maintained starting in the early spring. You should keep your gardens and shrubbery trimmed away from this area. Branches and leaves can get clogged in your HVAC system if they are too close and cause damage.

Rake around your HVAC system during the spring and clean loose debris out of all vents. It doesn’t hurt to go over your unit with a leaf blower on a low setting to dislodge any debris inside the unit. During the summer, keep an eye on your unit and check it after severe weather to ensure it hasn’t been damaged. After all the leaves have stopped falling in the fall, rake the area around your HVAC and cover it up with a fitted tarp for the winter.

Annual Maintenance

The best way to ensure that you won’t be caught without air conditioning when you need it is to call in the pros for an HVAC inspection in the spring. An HVAC technician can look at your system, do some simple testing, and ensure that your filters are changed and ready to go for the next month. This will give you peace of mind that your system runs efficiently and safely.

Clean Out Your Vents

If the airflow from your HVAC is restricted, the unit needs to work harder to cool your home resulting in higher energy bills. When you are preparing to use your HVAC for the first time in the summer, start by doing a vent inspection around your home.

Turn your system fan on, and then go to each vent in your home to check the level of air coming from your unit. If you feel any vents with restricted airflow, you will need to investigate further. Apart from having all of your ducts cleaned out, you can simply remove the vent giving you issues and clean it out with a duster or dry rag.

Upgrade Your HVAC Unit

If you have been keeping your filters clean and following a strict maintenance schedule, but your air conditioning bills continue to be high, it could be time to consider a system replacement. The most modern HVAC units run much more efficiently than older models and can save you more money on your energy costs. Talk to a reputable dealer about replacing your current system in the spring.


One of the best ways to keep your home comfortable in the summer heat and give your HVAC a bit of a break is to utilize your ceiling fans. If you have fans in your kitchen and living room, keeping them running on a low setting can help your home to feel cooler even at a higher thermostat setting.

During the summer months, you want to set your fans for a clockwise rotation so that warmer air rising towards your upper levels is forced back down to the floor to be further cooled. When the temperatures start to drop in the fall, you can reverse the direction of your ceiling fans.

Running table and floor fans in your home is also a great way to keep the temperature comfortable. Air that is moving and creating circulation feels cooler on the skin and helps to get relief from the heat. When you have a series of fans running on low settings around your house, you can set your thermostat at a higher setting and still be comfortable.

Blinds and Shades

If you have a lot of windows in your home, especially those that face the south, you may notice that it is more challenging to keep those areas cool than in others. With intense rays of daylight sun streaming through your unshaded windows, you are essentially creating an indoor greenhouse effect. To help keep your home cooler, you need to take advantage of your blinds and shades.

You can also install sun-blocking film to your southern-facing windows. Like the film you would use to tint your vehicle windows, this innovative film can block out the UV rays from the sun and keep your home cooler without blocking your view.

Close your blinds and shades during the hottest parts of the day. Blackout blinds on windows that face south and get the most sun exposure can help reduce the temperature in your home by several degrees, allowing your HVAC to work more efficiently.

Smart Thermostat

Smart technology can help you to save money on your energy bills. Installing a smart thermostat that uses innovative and intuitive artificial intelligence will help you to identify when and where you can save money on your air conditioning. Your smart thermostat is entirely programmable to accommodate your schedule. If you are spending money cooling your home when you are not home during the day, you can use your smart thermostat to set a schedule that works better for you.

A smart thermostat can be programmed to cool your home when you need it the most. It can raise the temperature when it’s not required and then start cooling down your home for your return. You can also set your smart thermostat to stay cooler overnight for your sleeping comfort.

After some time, your smart thermostat will be able to anticipate your needs based on your activity and presence in the house. Smart thermostat users can save up to 15% on their energy bills during the summer.


If you live in an area of the country with a lot of humidity during the summer months, your HVAC system may have to work a bit harder to keep your home feeling comfortable. The extra moisture in the atmosphere on hot summer days can make the air in your home feel heavy and clinging. Investing in a dehumidifier for your home that you can use during the summer can make a difference in your comfort.

Setting up a dehumidifier on your furnace unit or using a portable system in your home’s busiest areas can help suck extra moisture out of the air and make you feel cooler. Removing excess moisture from the air can help you keep your HVAC working efficiently.

Open Windows

Nothing cools your home faster than a nice summer breeze. Opening windows or doors across the house from each other can create a powerful vacuum or cross breeze that can air out your home and keep you cool. Why let your HVAC do all the work when you can enjoy some fresh air with your windows open.

When the outdoor temperature has dropped in the evening, it’s a great time to crack open your windows and let in some fresh air. Keeping your second-story bedroom windows open can create the perfect sleeping environment.

Close Off Unused Rooms

You can’t be in all areas of your home simultaneously, so why waste money cooling off the rooms in your home that aren’t being used? An easy way to bring down your energy spending is to close off your unused rooms and only cool the areas in your home that get a lot of traffic.

You can shut the door of your guest room, upstairs den, or basement after closing the blinds and the vents. These areas will no longer be causing your HVAC unit to work overtime to keep the air cool.

Cook Outdoors

The summer is the best time of the year for outdoor cooking. You may be surprised how much heat your kitchen appliances create during the summer. When the temperature rises in the kitchen, your thermostat could start to sweat. To keep your energy bills reasonable during the summer, take your cooking chores out to the barbeque. Nearly any meal can be made outdoors with the added benefit of a great smoky taste. Taking the heat of cooking outside will help you keep your kitchen at a more comfortable temperature.

Minimize Appliance Day Usage

You might be surprised how much heat your appliances produce when they are running. During the day, when your HVAC is working the hardest, adding more heat to your house is not going to help shrink your energy bills. It’s best to wait until the evening to run your major appliances like your dishwasher and clothes dryer.

Running your dishwasher not only adds heat to your kitchen but adds humidity. Your clothes dryer can raise the temperature in your home by a few degrees when doing a load. In the summer, hanging your clothes outside on a line is a great way to save energy and give your clothes and linens a fresh and clean smell.

Running your appliances in the evening can not only save energy usage by reducing the temperature in your home, but you can also take advantage of lower energy rates. Many energy providers offer lower consumption rates in the later hours of the day.

Shade Trees

Growing newly planted trees may take some time, but adding some natural shade to your home can significantly affect your energy bills. The temperature in your home can be reduced up to twenty degrees if you have strategically planted trees that will provide you with the right shade. Several varieties of birch and magnolia trees are very fast growing and an attractive option for your landscaping.

The summers are getting hotter every year, making it harder to keep your home comfortable in the heat. If you want to keep your HVAC system running smoothly while keeping your energy bills low, follow the tips that we have outlined above. The most important part of reducing your air conditioning costs is maintaining your HVAC unit. A properly working HVAC unit will run more efficiently and keep your home cool for less.

Living this far north in the United states generally means we don't have to worry TOO much about air conditioning.
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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