We may tend to think of the south and west when we think of hot weather, but in places all over the U.S., summer can mean extreme temperatures. Your air conditioner is designed to run full-tilt when the temperature outside hits around 90 degrees. Living in San Antonio, I’ve seen near that temperature in January. And even though fall is right around the corner, hot weather isn’t going anywhere here in SA for a while. If your area, too, sees high temperatures year round and even higher ones in the summer, it’s important to know how to manage your air conditioner. Following these basic tips can help to prolong the life of your air conditioner, as well as increase your home’s energy efficiency. Take Preventative Action Before the temperature outside skyrockets, call your local air conditioning company for a summer tune-up. These multi-step inspections can catch any problems or potential problems with your HVAC unit before they cause a total system failure. Leaking air ducts, low or leaking coolant and dirty coils can all cause your air conditioner to overwork itself without delivering the desired temperatures. A quick tune-up can diagnose these air conditioner problems, giving you the opportunity to complete repairs and have your air conditioner in top shape for summer. *For maximum efficiency and clean, filtered air, make sure that you are checking and replacing your air filters each month. Understand Your Thermostat Cranking your air conditioner down to much lower temperatures won’t make your home cooler any faster. In fact, it will put extra strain on your air conditioner, which will have to work overtime to try and comply with your demands. If your desired temperature is 70 degrees, leave the thermostat at 70 degrees. Setting it to 65 won’t get you there any faster. Do Your Part When the temperatures are sitting in the 100s, your air conditioner can use a little help to keep your home as cool as you want it. A few little tasks, like switching on your ceiling fan and keeping your blinds closed, can make a big difference in room temperature. Blocking the sun out, and creating a wind chill indoors, means that your AC won’t have to work as long to meet your thermostat’s requests. Keeping windows and doors closed as often as possible will also alleviate some of your AC’s workload. Keeping cool in the summer is just as important for comfort as it is for safety. Taking these simple steps before, and during, the summer can help you to keep your HVAC unit running strong, even in the highest temperatures.