Get your air conditioner in shape for summer

On average, a family spends $1,900 every year on energy bills, and almost half of that goes toward heating and cooling. Which means it’s a good idea to take steps now to ensure that your air conditioning is ready for bikini season, so to speak.

If this summer is anything like last year’s your air conditioner has a big job ahead. You can ease its load by taking the following steps.

  1. Give your condenser a little TLC. The condenser is the outdoor unit that sits somewhere near one of your exterior walls. It needs easy access to air to do its job, so make sure that no creeping vines have enveloped it, no shrubs have encroached upon it, and no leaves or debris are clogging up its airways. To work best, the condenser needs two feet of clearance on each side.
  2. Change the filter in your blower unit. Your blower is hard at work most of the year, blowing hot or cold air into your home, and its filter collects a lot of pet hair, dust, and gunk while it runs. The cleaner your filter, the more efficient your blower. A clogged filter can shut your whole system down—a situation that seems to magically align with summer’s hottest days.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat. Setting your summer temps higher during the times when nobody’s home and lower when you crave the cool can drum up 10-15% savings without you ever feeling it.
  4. Seal your air leaks. Finding and sealing the spots where air slips into and out of your house goes a long way toward keeping the cool air you’re paying for. We can help you figure out where you’re losing air. Just contact your local co-op to schedule an energy audit.
  5. Give your system a check-up. Schedule maintenance with a licensed contractor now to ensure that your system is operating efficiently and safely now—before you need it. Dirt and neglect are the leading causes of system failure. Taking care to schedule regular maintenance can not only keep your system functioning better but keep it working longer.

If you’re due for a new system, look for the ENERGY STAR label so that you know you’re getting one that meets the EPA’s energy-efficiency criteria. You can find out more about what to look for at

This summer, we hope you stay cool. In every sense of the word.