As Memorial Day approaches, the AHRI is reminding consumers to ensure their HVAC equipment keeps them cool this summer.

“Heating and cooling is the single biggest energy consumer in a home, and accounts for about 40 percent of all the energy used by homeowners,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. “That’s why taking steps to ensure the unit is running as efficiently as possible can help offset cooling costs this summer.”

Among the institute’s suggestions: Clear away debris near the outdoor condensing unit and occasionally spray it with a gardening hose. Clean or replace the air filter regularly. Ensure vents are not blocked by furniture and set the fan speed on high except in very humid conditions.

Lastly, have your unit inspected by a trained HVAC expert. AHRI officials recommend a company that has a North American Technician Excellence-certified staff.

“With proper maintenance, central air conditioning and heat pump units should last at least 12 to 15 years,” Yurek said. “Homeowners need to regularly service their heating and cooling equipment to keep them running smoothly. Spring is a great time to think about getting service before hot weather arrives and the rush for service is in full swing.”