I’m soaking up what’s left of this awesome time of year. It’s pretty much the end of winter for us. For many, the end of winter is a welcome thing. For me, I hate it because winter provides a few months in a row where there is no need for air conditioning. And that’s a big deal around here. For about 8 months of the year, one may need some air conditioning for sure. But from June through September, cooling is a household essential when you live down here. The heat and humidity are fierce in this region and that makes it awfully tough to manage life during the summer. But without the heat pump, it would be nearly impossible for me to live where I do. There is so much need for air conditioning that we’re getting close to needing to dust off the air conditioning strategy. It all starts with HVAC maintenance. I’m a big believer in HVAC maintenance because it extends the life of the heating and cooling equipment while improving efficiency. And when you’re trying to save money on air conditioning costs, the heat pump has to be operating at peak efficiency. Once the air conditioning tune up is complete, I’ll make sure that I replace worn weather stripping, caulk gaps and add some insulation to maintain a tight seal on the house. But really, the most important detail of the air conditioning strategy is being able to maintain some thermostat discipline. During the peak heating hours of summer, we keep the thermostat no more than 15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. This really makes a difference is air conditioning costs.