In Montana, it feels like we only get two seasons—winter and summer! Winters bury the Bridgers in snow, while summers are filled with blue-skied, long days when the sun doesn’t set until well into the evening. As much as we love the few months of the year when we get warmer weather, summers in Montana can get very hot. The heat can feel unrelenting!

So, the welcomed chill of good air conditioning offers a wonderful reprieve. More and more homes in Bozeman use air conditioning to bring cool relief from endless, scorching summer days. However, suppose you are not using energy-efficient air conditioning best practices. In that case, you’re not only going to waste time and money, but you’re going to reduce the level of cool air you could be enjoying. You might as well have the front door of your home wide open—letting the cool air out and hot air in.

High summer air conditioning bills can often take a toll on your wallet and peace of mind if you aren’t careful. At Mountain Heating & Cooling, we value your budget and your comfort, so we curated a list of energy-saving practices that you can use during the summer months. Read on to explore the four best practices you can use to help you optimize your HVAC system’s energy efficiency during the long summer months in Montana.

4 Best Energy-Saving Practices for Summer Air Conditioning in Montana

1.) Schedule Regular A/C Maintenance

Most homeowners do not want to replace their air conditioners in the heat of summer. Have no fear, our Bozeman HVAC contractors and technicians are highly-trained professionals who make the whole process effortless. Often we find that debris in your cooling system and neglect are two of the top reasons air conditioning units work poorly or break down altogether. One minute you are enjoying the refreshing cool comfort of your home, and the next, you are beginning to wonder why it feels as stifling inside your house as it does outside. To avoid needing to schedule a new air conditioner installation this summer, here are two easy tips you can take advantage of:

  • Clean and Replace Air Filters – Every air conditioner has an air filter in it which helps filter out larger dust and dirt particles in the air as your unit runs. If neglected, dust and particles will build up and clog the air filter, making your air conditioning system work harder and less efficiently. This can cause your home not to be cooled properly and even make your monthly energy bills spike. Cleaning and replacing air filters every few months can help keep your air conditioner running smoothly.
  • Maintain Your Outdoor A/C UnitOften overlooked, keeping the area around your outside unit clean and free from clutter can help it perform well all summer long. Make sure you trim back shrubs and overgrown plants that can interfere with the unit’s operations. Also, having a technician clean out your HVAC system before and after the summer months can cut costs on your utility bill considerably and prevent early repairs or even A/C failure. Fortunately, these are completely avoidable issues. With proper maintenance by a qualified technician, you can take important and necessary steps to prevent these problems.

2.) Utilize Window Treatments & Fans

Window treatments and fans can work together to cool a home, so your A/C unit doesn’t have to work as hard without them. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that highly-reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by 45%. So installing blinds and window treatments in your home can be a helpful, easy option to block out the sweltering summer heat. Also, using ceiling or circulating fans causes hot air, which rises, to be cooled and dispersed throughout a room. This, in turn, saves you money on costly utility bills. Remember:

  • Be sure to hang your curtain shades as closely as possible to your windows to block out radiant outdoor heat.
  • Turning on your fans when you are in the room will make it feel cooler and circulate the air throughout the room. To save energy turn the fans off when you’re not utilizing the room.

3.) Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostats

At Mountain Heating and Cooling, we use ENERGY STAR-certified products like Trane air conditioners and smart thermostats. These types of programmable and smart thermostats allow you more opportunities to regulate your cooling system better and optimize your home to save energy. Smart and programmable thermostats use less energy than standard thermostats. They can be scheduled for a specific time that you want your cooling system to kick on, so you don’t waste power while you are not at home, and your a/c unit does not have to work so hard staying on all the time. They also have useful features such as:

  • Using real-time weather data to gauge what to set your home temperature at.
  • Scheduling accessibility that lets you adjust your home’s smart thermostat from your tablet, computer, or smartphone and monitor your system remotely.

4.) Properly Seal and Insulate Your Home

Why seal and insulate your home? It is simple. It saves energy and saves you money. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, proper insulation and sealing in your home can lower your heating and cooling costs. Homes that do not have adequate insulation and sealing can experience temperature losses or gains, which can make for uncomfortable days during inclement summer weather. Insulation and sealing in your attic, around windows, doors, and even floors can ensure your air conditioning performs optimally. And when you do this, cool air is prevented from escaping, and warm air is stopped from infiltrating your home. Oh, and it will help you be more comfortable in the summer too.

Use Best Practices for Summer Air Conditioning and Enjoy the Energy Savings!

Wise summer air conditioning decisions can mean the difference between enjoying the cool sanctuary of your home or wishing you were anywhere else. If you invest the time and utilize these tips to keep your air conditioning system operating at its best, you ensure it will work optimally for you for years to come. And if it begins to show signs that it is time to maintain it, repair it, or replace it, reach out to Mountain Heating & Cooling, your air conditioning installation experts—we’ve got your back!