Summer is all about having fun in the sun, but when the sun gets too hot we usually retreat into the air conditioned comfort of our homes. Despite how nice it feels to step into that cool oasis, keeping your home that cold all the time could be putting too much stress on your HVAC system.

Efficient HVAC systems require inspections twice every year, but even then problems can arise. In fact, your air conditioning unit is particularly prone to problems if you run it into the ground. To save you and your AC, here are a few clever ways you can stay cool.

Keep the Curtains Shut

This may seem like a no-brainer, but that’s because it is. Light, especially light from the sun, creates heat, which in turn warms your house right up. Unfortunately, it can also increase your air conditioning needs. As air heats up, your AC has to work harder to bring the temperature back down to a comfortable place. So keep those blinds and curtains closed!

Change Your Sheets

If you find yourself cranking the AC at night, the issue might be simpler than you think. In fact, it could simply be a result of the sheets on your bed! IF you’re trying to stay cool at night with heavy sheets, there’s a problem. Instead, swap out your heavy sheets for cotton, linen, or even silk, which are all excellent thermo-regulators.

Stay Hydrated

During those hot summer months, our bodies sweat. A lot. And while sweating helps cool you off to an extent, it also depletes water in your body. As such, staying hydrated can help your body better regulate its temperature. In fact, drinking the recommended six to eight glasses of water per day could even reduce your need for the AC.

If you’ve taken anything away from these three tips, let it be this: you can help your AC out during the summer. While it’s certainly a nice perk, you’ll be doing your HVAC system and your wallet a favor by easing up a little bit.