Your air conditioner works hard in the summer. Most people take the cold air for granted. That is until your AC stops working. Take a few minutes each month to maintain your unit and keep it healthy all season long. Watch for signs that your AC needs service to call a professional who provides AC repair before your system stops working completely.

Make a point to replace your filter every 30 days. Your thermostat may have a reminder, but if you don’t ever reset the temperature, it’s easy to miss the notice. Put it in the calendar on your smartphone and send yourself an alert. In addition, write the date on the filter before you install it. When you change the filter, use your garden hose to wash off the condenser coils on the unit. Clean up any landscaping and debris that has accumulated around the unit. If you do need AC repair, call a professional technician instead of trying to do-it-yourself.

While you’re on vacation, it’s okay to turn your unit up, but don’t turn it completely off. This keeps the heat from building up in your home. Excessive heat damages valuable artwork and your wood floors, and it makes your refrigerator work harder. Turning the AC thermostat up to 85 when you’re gone for any significant time will lower your utility costs while preventing heat damage.

You can prevent storm damage to your unit by installing a surge protector to your home. Maintaining your AC unit during the summer keeps your utility costs lower and ensures that your home is comfortable during the hottest part of the year. If your unit seems to be struggling to cool your home, don’t wait to get AC repair. Call a professional before it breaks down so that you come home to a cool house every night and sleep well. Taking care of your AC in the hot months of summer will keep it working more efficiently all year long.