If your air conditioning bill was a little too high for your liking last summer, you are likely thinking of ways you can save some money this time around. If you want to keep your energy costs down, you'll want to pay close attention to your HVAC system as well as certain trouble spots around your house or apartment. Here are a few tips that might help you save some cash during the warmest months of the year.

1. Start with an Inspection

First things first, you should get into the habit of scheduling a full HVAC system inspection, ideally at the start of every summer and winter. An HVAC professional will be able to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible so that you can keep the temperature at your desired level without burning through a bunch of energy. Start this June off with a cleaned-out air conditioner, including a fresh air filter, and you'll be on your way to summer savings.

2. Check Your Windows and Doors

If you have leaky windows or doors throughout your home, it's not going to matter how clean and efficient your HVAC system is running. Every drafty window or loose piece of weatherstripping is just one more opportunity for the cool air from your air conditioner to leak outside and for the hot air outside to sneak its way in. If you have trouble like this in enough locations, your HVAC system is going to have to work overtime to keep you and your family cool, leading to a significantly higher bill each month. Your windows and doors are obviously something you can check on your own, but most HVAC professionals will inspect these areas for you as part of a regular inspection.

3. Start Using the Programmable Thermostat This Year

Plenty of homes have programmable thermostats today, and yet many homeowners remain too lazy to actually spend a few minutes programming it to their liking. If you want to save some cash, you should set your thermostat to allow it to be warmer than you normally would when you know you won't be home. If you are at work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday, you can allow your home to become at least several degrees warmer during this time and then set it to kick in and start cooling your home down again while you are on the way home. If for some reason your home still does not have a programmable thermostat installed, that can easily be fixed by an HVAC contractor.

If you want to keep your energy costs down this summer, get your HVAC system inspected before things start burning up. Check your windows and doors for loose weatherstripping and make better use of your programmable thermostat, and you'll likely have some extra cash to put toward your summer vacation. Speak to a local HVAC contractor, such as Eastern Shore Heating & Air, Inc, today.