Contractors say most of us do not think about our cooling systems until there's trouble.
"It's kind of out of sight, out of mind," says cooling expert Cecil Williams. "A lot of people don't think much about getting their heating cooling systems tuned until it breaks."
The heat is having a big effect on air conditioners breaking down. Most home units can battle heat up to 98 degrees.
There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of staying cool: Replace dirty air filters:Experts say a dirty air filter is enemy number one.
"Keep it replaced at least every 30 days because a clean filter helps the unit stay cleaner and the unit runs more efficiently," explains Craig Jackson, owner of an air conditioning repair company. Listen for noise:Know what your air conditioner sounds like. Any unusual noises could mean trouble. Leave the thermostat alone:Most units will run a little hotter than normal, so do not get nervous if the house does not get as cool.
"During the day, if you turn your thermostat up and let your house heat up to say 80 or 85 degrees or so, then when you come home and turn it down, it's not just necessarily cooling down the air in the house," warns Jackson. "It's got to cool the walls, the furniture and everything and that could take a long period of time." Get inspected:Jackson says getting a professional inspection twice a year, even on new units, will make your air conditioner work better and run longer.
An inspection is less than $100 and could make your unit run nearly twice as long as one that is left alone.
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