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5 Tips to Minimize Strain on Your HVAC System This Summer

Read time: 4 min.

Summer’s coming soon, and your HVAC system is about to work overtime. But here’s the thing – it doesn’t have to. I’ve got 5 tips that’ll help minimize the strain on your HVAC, keep your home cool, and save you some serious cash on energy bills.

These aren’t just any old tips, though. They’re tried, tested, and true. So, if you’re ready to beat the heat without breaking the bank, keep reading.

1) Maximizing Your HVAC Efficiency During Hot Summer Months

The hot summer months can be brutal on your HVAC system as it works overtime to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. But all that extra effort often leads to skyrocketing energy bills. I’ve found that the key to keeping your system running smoothly and efficiently is regular maintenance. By being proactive, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure your AC is ready to handle the heat.

The Importance of Regular HVAC Maintenance

I can’t stress enough how critical routine checks and professional servicing are for your HVAC system. It’s like getting regular oil changes for your car – it prevents bigger problems down the road.

Scheduling Professional Servicing

Before the summer heat hits, I always recommend having your HVAC unit checked by a professional. They can spot potential issues early and save you from a miserable, sweaty summer with a broken AC. According to the Department of Energy, regular maintenance can help your unit last longer and run more efficiently. They suggest having your system serviced by a professional at least twice a year, ideally before summer begins. Don’t learn the hard way that neglecting maintenance can lead to a completely failed HVAC system right when you need it most. 

2) Smart Thermostat Settings for Summer

One simple way to minimize strain on your HVAC and save on energy costs is by maintaining consistent thermostat settings. I know it’s tempting to crank the AC when you’re hot, but resist the urge.

The Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

Investing in a programmable thermostat is a game-changer. It lets you easily manage your home’s climate, even when you’re away. By setting it to a consistent temperature, ideally between 72-78°F, you can avoid excessive wear on your system. Plus, you’ll save energy by not cooling an empty house. ENERGY STAR states that proper use of a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 per year in energy costs. That’s a win for your wallet and your HVAC.

3) Enhancing Air Flow with Clean Filters

Here’s a simple maintenance task that can make a big difference: regularly replacing your air filters. It ensures optimal air flow and prevents your unit from working harder than necessary.

The Impact of Dirty Air Filters

I’ve seen firsthand how dirty filters can lead to higher energy bills. When your filter is clogged, your AC has to work overtime to push air through, putting extra strain on the system. By simply replacing your air filters every 1-3 months, you can maintain efficient operation and avoid overworking your unit. It’s a small change that can save you money and extend the life of your system. Did you know that ceiling fans can make a room feel several degrees cooler? It’s thanks to the wind chill effect they create. Utilizing fans along with your AC can help reduce the burden on your HVAC system. Another trick to use is opening windows during the cooler parts of the day, typically in the morning and evening. This natural ventilation helps freshen the air and can give your AC a much-needed break.

4) Insulation and Air Sealing Techniques

Proper insulation and air sealing are crucial for keeping hot air out and cool air in during the summer. Poor insulation forces your HVAC to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Preventing Solar Heat Gain

Windows are a major source of heat gain in the summer. I’ve found that installing shades or using light-colored window coverings can reflect a lot of that heat away from your home. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat. But by using techniques like solar screens, you can reduce solar heat gain by up to 70%. If you have rooms that you don’t use often, close the vents and doors to those areas. This concentrates the cooling where you need it most, helping you save money and keeping your main living spaces nice and comfortable.

5) Routine Checks for Condenser Coils and External Unit

Your external AC unit needs some love too. I make a habit of checking the condenser coils and clearing any debris from around the unit. This ensures efficient operation and prevents airflow restriction.

Keeping External Units Clear

Aim to keep at least 2 feet of clearance around your external AC unit. Trim back any plants or remove debris that could be blocking airflow. Also, gently clean the condenser coils with a brush or hose them down to remove dirt and dust. This improves heat transfer and can boost your unit’s efficiency by up to 15%. Another way to reduce strain on your HVAC is by strategically using shades and blinds during the hottest parts of the day. This can significantly lower indoor temperatures and give your AC a break. I’ve found that blackout curtains are especially effective at blocking sunlight and heat. And according to the Department of Energy, medium-colored draperies with white plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%. So there you have it – my top tips for maximizing HVAC efficiency during the hot summer months. With a little proactive maintenance and smart strategies, you can stay cool and comfortable without breaking the bank on energy bills.


I have covered 5 tips to minimize strain on your HVAC system this summer. From changing your air filters to using ceiling fans, these simple steps can make a big difference in keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Remember, your HVAC system works hard to keep you cool. By giving it a little TLC and implementing these tips, you can help it run more efficiently, save energy, and keep more money in your pocket.

So go ahead, put these tips into action. Your HVAC system (and your wallet) will thank you. Stay cool out there!

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