Consumer Watch: Beat the heat with these A/C maintenance tips

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 4:40 PM

(WHAS11) -- The recent heat wave and already unseasonably warm weather forced people to turn on their air conditioning units early this year.

In Friday’s Consumer Watch, Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen has some tips to make sure your unit is in the best shape to beat the heat.

Finding potential problems before they arise is the key to avoiding an unexpected failure in the middle of a heat wave - because let's face it, that's when air conditioning unit's most frequently break down.

Before you call in the big guns, make sure you're handling routine maintenance. Consumer advocate Angie's List says changing the filter on your furnace or air conditioner is one of the simplest things you can do.

"Just remember to check it every month when you pay your utility bill,” said Angie Hicks from Angie’sList.com.  “It's something that anyone can do themselves and it can save you up to 15 percent on your energy bills if you get them well maintained."

Throughout the course of a year, mother nature's many challenges can affect the performance of an air conditioner because they rely on consistent air flow to cool. Things like shrubbery, dirt and debris can inhibit that air flow.  Sometimes you may have to pay a heating and air conditioning guy.

"It needs to be tuned up once a year every year,” said service technician Darren Scaggs.  “Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and they are not getting air flow out things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up.”

That's because emergency repair bills in the middle of a heat wave are really expensive. If you don't believe it, call and get a quote for a fix on Sunday when it's 96 degrees and stifling.

If you have a consumer issue, send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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