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It’s time to put air conditioning maintenance on your radar to ensure having a cool, comfortable home once the high temperatures arrive. Here are a few proactive tips to help make sure your air conditioning is ready to go, and how to keep it functioning properly this summer.

Before you run your AC, start with visual inspections of the interior and exterior units. Evaluate the inside of your home by inspecting the thermostat, air vents and filter. If your thermostat is outdated, replace it with a newer, programmable thermostat to help you save energy and money. Check all your air vents and clear them of any furniture or items that could be blocking the airflow from cooling the room. Changing your air filter before the start of summer helps reduce dust and debris in your home and keeps your system running efficiently. Dirty filters put additional work on the air conditioning unit, so it’s important to change them every month, especially during the summer.

On the exterior system you’ll need to inspect your condenser unit to make sure it’s clear of any dirt, debris or leaves that might of built up over the winter. Washing the unit at the beginning of the summer will help it run smoothly throughout the hot months. If you are planting a garden, make sure plants are at least two feet away from the air conditioning unit to prevent hazardous accidents.

It’s best to test run your AC late in the spring, before the temperatures rise this summer to make sure everything is working properly. Once the inside and outside units have been looked at, run your AC for the day to check for any physical or maintenance problems that could arise. We recommend going outside and listening to your unit to make sure the fan runs and sounds normal.

Even though air conditioning can be a lifesaver after spending a day outside in the heat, it can get expensive to cool your home and keep it that way. However, there are other practices you can take to help reduce your energy bill. It’s smart to utilize your windows. When the outdoor temperature cools down you can let a fresh, cool breeze into your home. Keeping your blinds and curtains closed during the day, or when you aren’t there can help keep your home cooler by blocking the direct sunlight. Also, check that your windows are completely sealed and there is no air leaks to let cool air out of your home.

Along with windows, you can use ceiling fans to save on energy costs. The Natural Resources Defense Council says fans use ten percent of the energy consumed by AC and can make a room feel up to ten degrees cooler.

A helpful tool homeowners can install is a smart wi-fi thermostat to control the climate of their home with the touch of a button on a computer or mobile phone. These are convenient for those with vacation/lake homes, or anyone going on a summer trip.

We recommend having your air conditioning system checked by a professional at the start of the warm season or if you notice anything unusual. If your air conditioning unit has already taken a turn for the worst, or are interested in upgrading your system, give us a call at Howe and we’ll have an experienced technician get your space back to cool and comfortable in no time.