By Markham Heid
July 28, 2016

CLEAN YOUR AIR-CONDITIONER FILTERS

Do this at least once every three months; a filthy filter can lead to poor airflow or the freezing-up of your unit’s evaporator coil. (Plus, it can add 5% to 15% to your AC bill.) Filters typically costs less than $10.

RAISE YOUR THERMOSTAT A TAD

You’ll trim your AC bill by up to 3% for every degree you raise the temperature. Research shows the body can adapt to new temperatures in just a week or two.

USE FANS

Any type of fan, but especially a ceiling fan, can circulate cool air throughout your home, removing some of the burden from your AC. Be sure the ceiling fans turn counterclockwise to maximize airflow.

DON’T BLAST EMPTY ROOMS

If your AC vents or units are in use in every room, you’re chilling a lot of real estate. Close vents in unoccupied rooms, shut closet doors, and keep window units off when you’re not home.

ORGANIZE ROOMS STRATEGICALLY

Blocking AC vents with furniture or curtains can limit air circulation. Close blinds and slide curtains to block the sun’s rays and shield your space from the heat.

–Markham Heid

SOURCE: JAMES BRAUN, PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Contact us at editors@time.com.

This appears in the August 08, 2016 issue of TIME.

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