House and Home

Check These 3 Things Before Using Your Air Conditioner

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I'm not sure how the weather is in your neck of the woods, but here in Texas we're already in full-on summer mode — the time of year when we really start to embrace the technology of air conditioning. A recent blowout to my A/C compressor has made me realize that I've been taking this wonderful invention for granted.

Your air conditioning probably doesn't ask for much. It just trudges along — doing its magic dutifully, quietly and unassumingly. If you're like me, perhaps you've even neglected yearly maintenance on the unit.

Air conditioning units typically last about 10 to 15 years, and regular maintenance can go a long way toward making sure it's on the right side of that range.

Check These 3 Things Before Using Your Air Conditioner: 

  • Change filters regularly (every 30 to 60 days depending on filter type).
  • Clean the vents indoors and on the outdoor unit itself — don't make the air conditioner work more than it has to.
  • Remove any sludge or grime from the drainage pipe. A wet-dry shop-vac can go a long way towards making sure things flow smoothly — just attach to the end of the drain pipe and suck out any grime that may be accumulating.
  • Set up reminders on your Google calendar, email or smartphone to give the good sport the regular TLC it deserves.