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How to Save Money on Air Conditioning in the Summer

How to Save Money on Air Conditioning in the Summer

Sweltering heat and skyrocketing utility bills likely weren’t what you had in mind for summer after spending the winter cooped up at home. Back then, the condition of your AC unit probably wasn’t a top priority.

However, as seasoned HVAC technicians, we’re all too familiar with the strain high temperatures can put on a system expected to keep your home consistently cool. In this article, we’ll provide expert tips on how to keep your home comfortable while minimizing strain on your AC unit this summer.


10 Effective Ways to Optimize Your AC Unit’s Efficiency this Summer

1. Keep Windows and Doors Closed

Close all windows and outer doors whenever your AC is running. Though it’s a good idea to help your air conditioning circulate the air, using hot air from outside won’t be effective. Instead, try using ceiling fans.

Pro tip: During the hottest times of the day, keep the blinds closed and the curtains drawn to block out the sun’s hot rays.


2. Seal Attic Leaks and Window Gaps

Cold air can escape through gaps around windows, under doors, and in your attic. Even though you may not realize it, this air leakage can lead to significant expenses. Your air conditioner will need to run longer to make up for the lost cool air. However, testing for leaks, caulking window and door frames, and sealing ductwork can improve the efficiency of the system.

Pro tip: After inspecting your home for unwanted airflow, use expanding foam or caulk to seal the small openings. Wear gloves and make sure wherever you’re putting the sealant is going to stay there permanently since it’s nearly impossible to remove once it sets.


3. Inspect Your Home’s Ventilation System

If you don’t see any obvious holes or insulation problems, check to see if your home’s gable ventilation system is set up for success.

Gable vents are openings on the outer walls of your attic. It’s important to have effective ventilation to allow air to circulate, especially in summer when hot air tends to accumulate in the attic. Without proper ventilation, the excess heat can overburden your air conditioner, worsen indoor air quality, and damage your roof, potentially leading to leaks.

Pro tip: Assess the airflow in your attic by checking for movement through the ventilation openings on a sunny day. You can also use tools such as smoke pencils or incense sticks to observe the direction and flow of air within the attic.


4. Set a Base Temperature for Your Thermostat

If you seem to adjust your AC’s thermostat regularly, you can expect to spend more money on your utility bills and unnecessary wear and tear to your unit. The best thing you can do is choose a base temperature and stick with it. Many programmable thermostats on the market can help, but one of our favorites is the Honeywell T-10 Smart Thermostat.

Pro tip: According to, general thermostat guidelines say that you should set your thermostat to:

    • 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter when you’re at home and awake.
    • 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer when you’re at home and awake.


5. Clean or Replace Air Filters

Every HVAC system has a filter that needs to be kept clean for it to work well. This filter’s job is to enhance air quality by trapping dust and allergens it pulls from the air. Regularly checking and changing this filter is essential to maintaining your health and ensuring the longevity of your system.

Pro tip: On average, we recommend that your air filter be changed every 1-3 months. If you’re unsure about the ideal size or type of air filter for your system, it’s a good idea to reach out to an HVAC professional. At Spurk HVAC, we’re here to offer expert advice, and our online air filter store features premium air filters designed for different makes and sizes, guaranteeing peak performance.


6. Don’t Underestimate Your Registers

Central air typically relies on vents or registers installed in your home. Connected to the ductwork and strategically placed to distribute, direct, and expel airflow throughout all areas of the house. However, closing or adjusting these registers can place a substantial cooling load on the system, hastening wear and tear and possibly causing severe, permanent damage to your air conditioning unit.

Pro tip: Designate some time to walk around your home and check that all vents are open and unblocked for smooth airflow. Remove any obstacles, and if necessary, close off the vents that can’t be cleared.


7. Let Your Condenser Breathe

The condenser, also known as the AC condenser, serves as the outdoor component of an air conditioner or heat pump, responsible for either releasing or collecting heat depending on the season. Blocked condensers can lead to excessive strain on your system. To ensure optimal performance, it’s essential to provide adequate space for the condenser to operate efficiently.

Pro tip: Add Landscaping Around Your HVAC Units to your spring cleaning checklist.
For example:

    • If dense plants surround your condenser, move them two feet away.
    • Trim any overhanging tree branches.
    • Clear any debris that overflows from your gutters if the condenser is positioned under an overhang.

Keeping everything clean and tidy ensures optimal performance of your utilities.


8. Minimize Using the Stove, Oven, and Dryer

Steer clear of using appliances that generate warm air, which can circulate throughout your home and increase the workload on your AC.

Pro tip: To help heat dissipate, turn on the kitchen exhaust fan during and after cooking and run the bathroom exhaust fan after a hot shower. If you have room, consider hanging a clothesline for your clothes to dry instead of using the hot dryer inside your house.


9. Update Your System

If your unit exceeds 10 years of age, consider an upgrade. Seek HVAC units with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which aligns with the latest regulatory standards. To ensure compatibility with your home, consult your heating and cooling contractor for guidance on selecting the appropriate unit. If you live in Southwestern Pennsylvania, you can contact Spurk HVAC for help.

Pro tip: Review our 2024 Federal Tax Credits for HVAC Systems to see if your new unit qualifies.


10. Opt for Planned Maintenance from Spurk HVAC

If you want to keep your AC running smoothly, it’s important to stay current with basic maintenance. While some tasks can be done independently, scheduling annual maintenance with an experienced technician from Spurk HVAC involves an inspection, a thorough cleaning, and proactively addressing any potential issues. Adding this routine to your spring cleaning routine will provide peace of mind and prolong the efficiency of your AC throughout the summer season.


Are You Maximizing Your AC’s Efficiency?

For more than two decades, Spurk HVAC has been dedicated to providing effective home cooling solutions. Whether you require repairs, maintenance, or an upgrade to a higher-efficiency air conditioning system, our team is here to help! Contact us to schedule your appointment today.

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Spurk HVAC

Spurk HVAC

Spurk HVAC was formed in 2018 and is located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. The combined experience of Dale and Jason, along with the desire to build a respectable, family owned business our community can rely on, are the driving factors behind the formation of Spurk HVAC.
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