A hot home is never comfortable. However, a sky high utility bill can seem even less appealing. With that in mind, Petri Plumbing & Heating offers these five tips for more efficiently cooling a home during summer.

Check the seals around windows and doors. A homeowner will often take the time to make sure their air conditioner is running properly, but they will often forget to make sure that their home is actually keeping the cooler air contained. Do a quick survey of the windows and doors, including the garage door, and make sure that they are properly sealed. Replace any brittle, cracked weather stripping and make sure the doors’ thresholds are adjusted properly. Gaps in window seals can be easily fixed with caulk.

Increase insulation where necessary. If you discover that cool air is escaping through an attic or a crawl space, you can always add more insulation. When unsure where air is being lost or how much insulation to add, contact an expert that can provide professional recommendations for improving the home’s efficiency.

Consider some efficiency upgrades. Sometimes a minor investment can result in monthly savings that add up quickly. Installing double-paned efficiency windows can further insulate the home, keeping warm air out and cooler, conditioned air inside your living spaces. If the home has an attic, a solar fan can be installed that can reduce the amount of heat trapped in the space.

Change the air conditioner filter on schedule. Changing the air filter in your cooling system every 60 days will help maximize the unit’s efficiency, resulting in better cooling at lower costs. If there are pets in the home, the filter may need to be changed more often due to the presence of dander and hair.

Schedule an HVAC tune-up. Regular annual maintenance is not only recommended for your air conditioner, it may actually be required to keep the manufacturer’s warranty in effect. Tune-ups involve cleaning the unit, oiling mechanical parts, and identifying any potential problems that could develop into a breakdown in the middle of summer. To ensure the air conditioner runs smoothly and efficiently during summer, it’s best to schedule a tune-up as early as possible.