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On hot spring and summer days, an air conditioner is truly a thing of beauty; however, the average warm weather utility bill definitely isn’t. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to keep your home cool and your cooling bills low. Here are just a few ways you can maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency.

Install Ceiling Fans

A good air conditioner should cool your home effectively on its own. To boost your system’s efficiency further, it’s a good idea to install one or more ceiling fans around your home—that way, the cool air produced by your air conditioner moves around more. Ceiling fans can also help distribute warm air during the winter.

Clean Outdoor Components

If applicable, you should occasionally inspect the outdoor condenser unit of your air conditioning system. If it’s clogged with debris, it can affect the function of your whole system. This is especially important during the spring when there are all sorts of plant debris flying around.

Boost Attic Insulation

The hot summer sun can boost the temperature in your attic to 150 degrees or hotter. If you don’t have enough insulation between your attic and living spaces, the heat will seep in from the hot attic, offsetting the cooling power of your air conditioner. Adding insulation to your attic and making sure there’s a good ventilation system in place can reduce the amount of hot air infiltrating your home.

Change the Filter

If it’s been a while since you’ve changed your air conditioner’s filter, you’ll definitely want to do that before the cooling season reaches full force. A dirty filter is one of the most common causes of air conditioner malfunction and inefficiency. Depending on what kind of system and filter you have, you’ll need to swap the filter out once every 1-3 months during the peak cooling season.

Schedule Regular Checkups

While there’s plenty of ways the average homeowner can boost his or her air conditioner’s efficiency, sometimes a professional’s touch is required. For instance, an annual checkup can ensure that your system is running as smoothly as possible. It’s also important for identifying small problems before they become big ones.

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