When it gets into the 80s, we flip on the air conditioning. Chances are it won’t let us down, but, we may pay more than necessary to keep cool if the filter (it’s usually located somewhere on the return duct) hasn’t been changed regularly. A clogged filter can increase your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Just slip out the dirty one and replace it with a new filter. Keep a couple on hand to use through the season.

If you’re handy, you can go online for air conditioning maintenance check lists. A few hours of work can help extend the life of your equipment and avoid costly repairs. If not, it’s a good idea to call your heating and air conditioning dealer to have a technician perform an annual check-up. You should receive a list of what was included in the check-up.