It’s already heating up here in Florida, so now is the perfect time to get your Florida AC system ready to combat the heat and keep you cool and comfortable.

Even if you’ve already been using your air conditioning a little this year, you’ll probably use it most often and put the most strain on it during the summer.

If you’ve skipped your AC tune up, you might be looking at anything from a minor leak to a major issue that leaves your system inoperable during the season you need it the most. Here’s your summer tune-up checklist to make sure your system is ready for the season ahead:

1. Replace your filters.

Spring comes with lots of pollen and dust—and that means that your filters are probably quite clogged.

Before you really start firing up your AC for summer, replace all of those filters with clean ones. Your filter might seem like a small an insignificant part of your entire system, but it is one of the most important. All of the air in your system goes through that filter and if it is clogged with dust, grime, and pollen, your system is going to have to work really hard to push it through. A clean filter means a more efficient and functional system.

2. Update your thermostat.

It’s time to take a serious look at your thermostat. Is yours a manual or a programmable thermostat? If you still have a manual thermostat, you need to look at a programmable option. Not only will it do a much better job at keeping your rooms cool during the hot Florida summer, it will also save you money. Many people save up to $200, just by installing a programmable thermostat in their homes, and they don’t notice any difference in how comfortable the house actually is.

3. Clean up the area around your compressor.

Your compressor might be besieged by dead leaves and other natural debris after a long winter and spring. Before you turn your system on in the morning, go out and take a look at the compressor. Do you need to clear anything away from it? Could it stand to be sprayed down and cleaned off? The answer is probably yes to both of those questions. Spending a little time keeping this area clean will make sure your system has some breathing room to operate.

4. Inspect your ductwork.

You might want to hire a professional to do this, but whether you do it yourself or whether you hire a company to do this, it’s time to take a serious look at your ductwork. Even a small leak in just one of your ducts could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year, as that air you’ve paid to cool leaks right out of your home. Make sure your ducts are in tip-top shape before you really start using your system for the season.

5. Have your entire system checked out.

Right now, schedule your summer maintenance. It’s a good idea to have your system looked at once a year. Not only will this help you find any small issues before they become big issues, it will also help you prevent any small issues from ever occurring. A licensed and skilled professional should be called to make sure that your system is running smoothly and does not need any updates or repairs.

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