As Savannah, GA, homeowners, you know that the summer months are long and hot, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find relief from the intense heat with a properly maintained and functioning air conditioner. When the temperatures outside heat up, your AC unit comes to the rescue, thereby ensuring that your home is truly a sanctuary that provides shelter from the sultry weather.

However, you need to make sure that your air conditioner is in good shape to avoid high energy costs. It’s important to note that heating and cooling typically account for more than half of the overall energy use in your home, often making it one of the largest utility bills. Read on to learn about a few things you can do today to make your air conditioner operate more efficiently this summer and save money in the process.

1. Keep the Area around the AC Unit Clear

To help maximize the efficiency of the air conditioner in your home, make sure that the area around the unit is uncluttered and is not in close proximity to objects and foliage. This will help to keep the components of the unit clean and allow for optimal airflow. Similarly, your box fan can’t take in sufficient air when a large item is placed behind it, and this idea is also applicable to your air conditioner. If there are shrubs, plants, or other types of foliage around your unit, it’s recommended that you trim them so that they are at least two feet away.

2. Change the Air Filters Regularly

It’s also essential to keep the air ducts flowing freely and to keep these areas free of any excess dirt or dust build-up. Over time, this build-up can become extremely problematic, leading to the blockage of the air conditioner vents. It is always good practice to change your air filters at least once a month to avoid this problem. Make sure that you know the size of your filters before you go shopping.

Cleaning and changing your air filters regularly will also help you avoid extensive maintenance and repairs in the long run. You should also check the dust buildup on your motor if you have visible access to it since the efficiency of your air conditioner is also tied to it. If you discover that there is excessive dust buildup, contact a licensed HVAC repair contractor or look for high-quality air conditioning services in Savannah, GA to clean your system.

3. Keep Your Air Conditioner Out of the Sun

The ideal location for your AC unit is on the north side of your home. While it may be impractical to follow this advice in your home, it’s important to appreciate the need to keep your air conditioner away from the sun. Additionally, proper landscaping accounts for more than the need to make your home appear more beautiful, because by planting trees and shrubs around your AC unit, within a safe distance that does not obstruct air flow, you can help it operate efficiently. The shade from the trees and shrubs can also be used to keep the destructive direct sun rays off of your home.

4. Schedule Routine Maintenance and Checkups

Regular maintenance and a tune-up of your AC unit at the start of each summer will ensure that it will work efficiently during the hot summer months. An un-serviced cooling system will be forced to work harder and longer to provide the expected degree of home comfort which reduces its efficiency and increases your utility bills. At least 50% of all cooling system failures in the U.S are due to lack of maintenance, so be sure to heed these four pieces of advice to ensure that you’re using your air conditioner efficiently this summer.