The summertime heat can be extremely oppressive. There’s nothing like walking out of that heat and into a crisp, air-conditioned room. What can you do to keep your air conditioner running well?

One of the simplest things you can do is to keep the filter on your air conditioning unit clean. Good airflow is critical to the proper functioning of an air conditioner, and having a filter full of dust, dirt, skin cells, or other gunk is bad news. If you use a window unit, cleaning your air conditioner filter is extremely simple – just pop it out and vacuum it. For good measure, you could hose it off, and once it’s completely dry, reinsert it.

Removing debris from an external unit is very important. To do that, you may need to remove some type of guard or grate. Whether you do that or are performing some other maintenance, be sure to disconnect the unit from power, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional.