The summer heat can be pretty overwhelming without the help of a reliable air conditioner on your side. However, all that wear and tear puts a lot of pressure on the air conditioner and can increase your chances of needing costly repairs. Luckily there are a few things you can do around your home and yard that will help you beat the heat without wearing out your air conditioner, and even save you some money on your energy bills throughout the year. Here are a few effective options to consider:

Seal Your Home Up

With proper sealing, your windows and doors can let lots of hot air into your home during the summer months, resulting in the need to turn your air conditioner up. But spending an afternoon sealing up your home is all it takes to minimize air leaks. Sealed windows and doors can also provide improved humidity control, minimize pollution and insects, and reduce noise pollution coming from outside.

To seal your home up, simply use some spray foam insulation or caulking around the frames of all the doors and windows that connect to the exterior of your home. You may need to sand down the spray foam or caulking and paint the frames once you've applied the sealant to achieve a seamless look and feel.

Apply Insulation Window Film

Insulating window films keep heat from penetrating into your home and offer optimal UV protection that stops interior furniture and floors from fading. Insulation film is easy to install and comes in a variety of styles, colors, and designs. Some offer security protection by reinforcing your windows so they're harder to break, while others are designed to look like stained glass once they're applied to the windows.

To apply the film, you just have to cut it to size, peel it from its packaging, and apply it to your windows using a squeegee to get all the air bubbles out as you go. Once the film is applied, it will stay put until you decide to take it down. Because there is no glue or tape used to secure the window film, it can be removed easily without leaving behind residue when you're ready to make décor changes.

Plant a Few Mature Trees

Planting some trees around your home is a great way to protect it from the heat of the sun so interior temperatures naturally stay cooler during the day. Trees can also increase your property value by up to 20 percent. Baby trees can take several years to become effective sun barriers for your home, so consider having mature trees planted instead.

Deciduous trees are your best option because they are full of leaves during the summer for heat protection, and they lose their leaves during the winter so the sun can naturally warm up your home. Hickory, oak, maple, River Birch, and Yellowwood are all beautiful options.

Install Some Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans require a lot less power than your air conditioner does, so using them during summer months can save you some money on your monthly energy bills. Using ceiling fans will also allow you to turn your thermostat up a little to reduce wear and tear on your air conditioner. To ensure optimal heat relief and minimize your air conditioning usage, make sure that your ceiling fans are programmed to spin counterclockwise when they're turned on.

This directs air movement to the center of the room and creates an effective breeze that makes it feel cooler than it really is inside. You can even use ceiling fans during winter months to maintain a steady temperature indoors by programming the fans to turn clockwise when it's cold outside.

These tips and tricks will keep you comfortable all summer long and help to lower your household's overall carbon footprint. If you need more information about keeping your home cool and making sure your air conditioner is in working order, you can check out