6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Home Air Conditioner

Get the most out of your air conditioner with these easy tips!


Photo By: Washougal Heating & Cooling

Your home air conditioner is your best friend during the summer, when the heat of the day can become quite unpleasant inside. But what to do if you’re still having trouble with your unit? Here are 6 tips for getting the most out of your home air conditioner that will help you to beat the heat.

Make Sure the Leaks Are Sealed

If you’re running your air conditioner unit and you are finding you have trouble keeping your home cool, check to make sure that you have sealed up air leaks.

Like heaters, high-quality home AC units are designed to alter the temperature in a building quite effectively, so long as there aren’t any significant air leaks. If your home hasn’t had its leaks identified and sealed, see about doing that, particularly if it is an older home.

With the leaks sealed, you should be on track for a cooler home during the hot summer months – and, for that matter, a warmer home during the cold winter months.

Blinds and Curtains Are Your Friends

Blinds and curtains play an important role in limiting the flow of bright sunlight into your rooms. This helps your home AC unit to be more effective: simply put, it doesn’t have to swim upriver, so to speak, quite as hard as if it is trying to combat the ongoing effects of bright sunlight.

The impact of blinds and curtains on your home is likely to be greater than you might think. Even on a very hot summer day, they can make a significant difference in terms of the temperature indoors versus outdoors.

Change or Clean the Filters

We’ve talked before about DIY air conditioner fixes, and this is a straightforward one: keep your filters clean, and your air conditioner unit will continue to work well for you. Dirty filters are clogged, pretty much by definition, and that can lead to poor performance from your unit.

Of course, dirt can have more severe effects if left long enough. Leave it too long, and a dirty filter can lead to a freezing up of the evaporator coil your unit depends on. Dirty filters add significantly to your total utility bill, and can shorten the lifespan of an entire system.

The good news is that this issue has a simple fix: clean your filters as need be, and replace them regularly. In general, it’s a good idea to replace them at least once every three months, and if your unit is running at all times, change the filters once a month.

Programmable Thermostats Are a Good Investment

Some people always remember to adjust their thermostats, particularly when leaving the house. If this is you, good on you! For the other 90% (perhaps) of us who are not so consistent, smart thermostats are an excellent investment.

The key thing that a smart thermostat can do for you is automatically apply a set of controls designed to keep the house cool when you will actually be using it, i.e. when you are home rather than at work or elsewhere.

During those times when you will be away from the home for an extended period of time, you can save money on your utility bill by allowing your smart thermostat to allow the temperature to increase.

This whole process is even simpler if you get a smartphone-controlled smart thermostat. Programming a thermostat has never been easier.

Insulation Can Help

Is your house well-insulated? If the answer is no, it might be time to change that. This is another tip that will help you during both the very warm months of the year and the very cold months – after all, the whole idea with insulation is to help keep the temperature within consistent by offering a buffer with the outdoor environment.

A well-insulated home can save you on both your AC bill and your heating bill, meaning it’s a good investment that will pay off throughout the year.

Think About Your Appliance Use

Some appliances generate a lot of heat. Think of dryers, ovens, and stoves, for example: if you hold off using them during the heat of the day, you’ll have fewer issues with heat and thus less work for your air conditioner.

Take it a little farther, and you’ll see that sometimes you can use the heat of summer as an alternative to some of these appliances. For example, instead of using a dryer during the summer, get a clothesline and hang your clothes out to dry: you’ll save on your utility bill twice, and your clothes will still get perfectly dry.

Take this tip to the next level by looking for older, outdated appliances and lightbulbs you could potentially replace with more energy-efficient version that produce less heat.


A home air conditioner is an important part of staying cool during the warmer summer months. Hopefully these 6 tips will help you get the most out of your unit.