With the annual cooling season already under way in some parts of the country, the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute is reminding homeowners now is the time to ensure their units are ready.

“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 group that represents HVAC manufacturers. “That’s why taking steps to ensure the unit is running as efficiently as possible can help offset cooling costs this summer.”  

The association recommends removing debris near the outdoor condensing unit and occasionally spraying it with a gardening hose. Clean or replace the air filter regularly. Make sure 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 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.”