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Don’t Wait Until the Temperatures Heat up to Check Your Air Conditioner

an air conditioning unit outside of a house The temperatures outside may not have made you want to turn on your air conditioner yet, but right now is the perfect time to make sure your unit is ready for the dog days of summer.

It’s always a good idea to hire a professional to inspect and perform maintenance on your system every spring for the air conditioner and every fall for the heating unit. A professional can inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms of each of the units and take care of the more challenging maintenance work that the average homeowner should not attempt on their own. A technician also will check the refrigerant level on the air conditioner — too much can be a waste, but too little means your system is not working efficiently.

Pre-season maintenance is important in any kind of weather condition, and it can save you money in the long run. Here are a few things you can do on your own to ready your air conditioner for a long, hot summer:

  • The outdoor unit should have at least two feet of clearance all around and should always be on level ground.
  • Outdoor units should be free and clear of any debris like leaves, weeds, grass clippings, twigs and etc.
  • Check your furnace filter on a monthly basis. Most filters need replacing every 90 days, however, if you have pets, you may have to change it more often. Keep in mind that the air handler for your furnace also processes the air for your a/c, so it’s important to maintain clean filters all year.
  • Check all electrical connections and controls to ensure your air conditioner’s safe operation

RELATED: 10 ways to keep your home cool this summer

Another tip to follow is to use your air conditioner only when outdoor temperatures are higher, not during moderate weather. That will save wear-and-tear on the unit and will help keep your electric bill lower.

  • Tips for ways you can cool your house, without running the air conditioner:
    Keep blinds or drapes drawn during the hottest parts of the day
  • Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight
  • Turn off lamps and any other heat-producing device when not in use. Rising heat from these sources can cause the air conditioning system to over-cool your home.

Keeping up with regular air conditioner maintenance can save you money and energy while prolonging the lifespan of your system. On the first hot day of summer, the last thing you want is an air conditioner that won’t turn on. Do the proper maintenance before summer arrives so your unit can cool your home efficiently.

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