Lisa F. Young/istockphoto

DCL

Heating and cooling comprise 40% of the average citizen's energy consumption. To reduce your electrical bills and increase efficiency, proper maintenance of your air conditioner is imperative.

Prevention is always smart. You don't want to have to replace an air conditioning unit due to neglect . Take these steps to maintain your system, so you don't end up with an added cost of a repairman when you could have intercepted the problem during its early stages.

How to Maintenance an Air Conditioner

2. Check the Controls:

Make sure that your AC unit starts, operates, and then shuts off properly. Get into this habit as soon as soon as possible.

3. Check Your Settings:

Turn your AC down when you leave. A timer that turns off when you leave and restarts right before you get back is a good investment.

4. Check the Drain:

A plugged drain can cause water damage.

5. Lubricate: Any moving parts that are un-lubricated can cause friction and increase the amount of used energy. 6. Tighten All Connections: Bad electrical connections are unsafe and can damage your appliance. 7. Measure Voltage and Currents: Faulty currents can reduce the life of major components. 8. Adjust Blower Components: This provides better airflow and thus more comfort. Airflow problems can reduce efficiency by 15%. 9. Change Air Filters Once a Month: A dirty filter decreases efficiency, and reduces the life of your air-conditioner. 10. Clean Condenser and Evaporator Coils: Dirty coils cause the system to run longer because the system cannot function as well, jacking up your electrical bill. Source: Energy Star. If running the air conditioner this summer is a necessity, make sure it's humming and efficient. Reducing your unit's energy consumption is good for your wallet, your carbon footprint, and ultimately, the planet. Got a tip or a post idea for us to write about on Planet Green? Email pgtips (at) treehugger (dot) com.