On average, air conditioning accounts for 12% of home energy costs. If you live in a hot climate, your expenses will likely be even higher.

You expect your air conditioning to keep cranking out that cool air, but it can be a shock when you open your utility bills. Little changes to how you do things around the house can slash your costs without leaving you hot.

Keep reading to learn five ways to cool your home for less.

1. Handle Air Conditioning Maintenance

When you don’t maintain your air conditioner, it can’t run at peak efficiency. Hire an HVAC company to do an air conditioning tuneup at least once per year to make sure everything is running well and there aren’t any problems. The company will check indoor and outdoor components, check refrigerant, test connections, and look for other issues.

You can also help your system by replacing the air filters regularly. Check the filter at least once per month, especially if you live in a dusty area or have pets, which can clog the filters. When it looks dirty, replace the filter or clean it if you have a reusable filter.

It’s also important to call an HVAC pro if you notice something wrong with your air conditioning, such as strange AC noises. Handling small air conditioning repair issues right away can keep the system running efficiently and prevent something more serious from happening.

2. Adjust the Thermostat

Slight thermostat adjustments can save you energy. You can turn on ceiling fans to feel cooler with the higher temperature.

You can also set your thermostat to be higher when you’re not at home. A smart thermometer makes it easier to change the thermostat settings from your smartphone when you’re not home.

3. Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Patch up the cracks and gaps in your home, especially along windows and in the foundation, to prevent heat transfer. You can also beef up the insulation in your home to keep your cooled air inside your home. Improved energy efficiency means your air conditioner gets a break to maintain the cooler temperature.

4. Watch Your Windows

Windows cause a lot of heat loss and gain, which increases your heating and cooling costs. Your windows can eat up 25 to 30% of your heating and cooling energy. If they’re old and inefficient, consider new windows.

You can also help by planting trees near windows to block sunlight. During the hot daytime hours when sunlight shines directly into the windows, close the curtains to limit how much heat comes inside.

5. Limit Heat-Generating Activities

Cooking, baking, drying clothes, and running other heat-generating appliances makes your air conditioning work harder to counteract the heat. Grilling outside or eating cold meals, such as salads, can keep your home cooler. Run your dryer, dishwasher, and other appliances during the coolest times of the day.

Help Your Air Conditioning

You rely on your air conditioning to keep you cool, but you’re saving money is also important. Take simple steps to improve how your air conditioner runs to keep more money in your pocket without breaking a sweat.

If your air conditioner needs a tuneup or you’re ready for an air conditioning replacement, contact us for a quote.