Not only is hot weather uncomfortable, it can be bad for your health. The good news is, there’s a few easy ways you can maximize comfort and save on cooling costs during even the hottest weather…

  1. Clean Your Cooling System

Before the hot weather starts, you should make sure your cooling system is clean and well-maintained. A professional should inspect it every year. If the system is over 15 years old, you might consider replacing it with a newer model, preferably one with an ENERGY STAR rating.

  1. Check for Air Leaks

Check your home for air leaks. The better sealed the house, the less it loses cool air or is infiltrated by warm air. You should check for gaps in caulking around the house, and reseal where necessary. Also check the weather-stripping on your doors and windows to make sure they’re airtight.

  1. Seal Ductwork

You should also have a professional repair and seal any leaky ductwork. Air loss through ducts accounts for about 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Where forced air cooling systems are in use, it’s important to ensure that the filters are changed regularly to help optimize energy efficiency.

  1. Open Windows

Controlling air flow is a cost-effective way to moderate temperatures. If nights are cool, you can turn off their air conditioner and open your windows and balconies to lower indoor temperatures. During the day, you can shut doors and windows to trap cool air inside.

  1. Shut Blinds

As the sun rises higher during the day, you can draw your curtains and shut your blinds to keep the sunshine out. This can reduce heat gain by 45 percent. You could consider installing exterior window coverings to keep out the sunshine. Air conditioning vents should be kept clear of blockages caused by drapes or furniture.

  1. Cook Outdoors

Another tip is to minimize running appliances and equipment that generate a lot of heat, like stoves, computers, dishwashers, curling irons, or hair dryers. Barbecuing is a tasty alternative to running your stove.

  1. Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans allow you to set thermostats about 4° F higher with no reduction in comfort.

  1. Use Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats can automatically turn down the air conditioning at night or when the home is not occupied, saving energy and money when lower temperatures are unnecessary.

  1. Invest in Zoned Cooling

A ductless cooling system with zoned control is a good investment to consider. Zoned control allows you to set the temperature of each room individually rather than having to keep the entire house at the same level. With good home maintenance, common sense, and a well-functioning cooling system, keeping cool in hot weather doesn’t have to be complicated.