I can't even begin to tell you how many calls have been flooding into our property management office in the past 2 weeks about broken AC units. With the heat starting to swelter, that means the summer months are upon us. Here are some AC "must-do's" to help prevent your AC from giving up when you need it the most:

1. CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER!!! This is such a simple task that very often gets overlooked. It should be done monthly to avoid dust, pet hair, allergen build up. The more clogged it becomes, the harder your AC will have to work and thus will cost you even more money every month on your electric bill. 

2. Clean the coils in your unit. Once a year, just unplug your unit and hose off any dirt and dust that has accumulated around the coils.

3. Keep air vents free of clutter inside. Make sure there are no objects that are blocking the air flow from the vents in your home.

4. Clear the space around the outdoor unit as well. Take notice of any weeds, plants, and debris that are accumulating around the unit. Then you can use a soft broom to remove anything that has gathered around the fins and hose off the condensing unit. 

5. Unclog the condensate drain tube. Use a wet/dry vacuum over the drain opening. Wrap a towel around where the drain and vacuum hose meet to ensure the seal for the suction is as air tight as possible. Run the vacuum for a minute or so to clear the clog and to remove any moisture that may be trapped inside that can easily turn to mold. 

6. Schedule an AC maintenance audit. If your unit is greater than 8 years old, it may be time to give her the old tune up just to make sure everything is running properly. An HVAC company will come out to your home and assess the unit which usually takes between 30-60 minutes and will run you around $85-$100. 

These steps are so simple and will take only moments out of your day but can help save you from a nightmare of sleepless sweaty nights, standing in front of the open freezer door, taking cold showers just to get some relief, and not to mention the expensive bill that will likely proceed a timely repair.