During the dog days of summer, there’s nothing better than blasting the air conditioning to cool down. But, as refreshing as the cool air may be, running the AC can take its toll on your HVAC system. Plus, it can be costly. Air conditioners actually account for roughly 6% of U.S. electricity at a yearly cost of around $29 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Because running an HVAC system can be costly, it’s important to keep it running as efficiently as possible. Fortunately, there are many no-cost ways you can keep it going strong:

Bump Up Your Thermostat

One way to help your HVAC system is to adjust your thermostat. If you’ve got a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature during different seasons, or different times of the day.

Close Things Up

During the heat of the day, you can help your HVAC system by closing your blinds and curtains. This helps your energy bills because you won’t have direct sunlight beaming into your house.

Take It Easy On Appliances

Even if you love cooking or you have laundry to do, you can keep things cool in your house by not running the oven or doing laundry during the hottest times of the day. This is another instance where you can prevent a lot of warm air from entering your house.

Clean The Outdoor Condenser

One of the best ways to keep your HVAC system going is to clean its outdoor condenser unit. This may be a job best left to professionals, but it’s essential that it’s cleaned regularly.

Give Your Thermostat Some Space

Another good tip you can use is to keep any heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat and HVAC system. Having these appliances around your system will signal to the system that the air conditioning system needs to be kicked on, which will cause it to run more than it needs to.

Insulate Ducts

To keep your system from running too much, you’ll also want to make sure your home’s ductwork is properly sealed. This ensures that none of the cool air will leak out. Duct tape can come in handy for a project like this.

In Summary

The last thing you want on a hot summer day is to have a malfunctioning HVAC system. By following the steps above, you’ll save money and keep your system in top-notch shape.