Now that summer is almost here, you need to know whether your central air system is really ready to tackle the intense summer heat! Think back to last summer, was your central AC unit able to keep up with the high heat and humidity? If not, here are some quick tips to get the most out of your AC unit.

First, you’ll want to make sure that you’re regularly maintaining your central air conditioner properly by changing the filters regularly, cleaning out the outside compressor unit and generally taking good care of it even when it’s working just fine. There are lots of different brands and designs of central air conditioners now, but they all require the same basic care: keep them clean and clear and they should keep you cool.

Next, you’ll want to be sure your AC is working well. If it isn’t working at all or if it is only providing very little cool air then you may want to try using some basic central air conditioner troubleshooting techniques just to get it running. Simple things like fuses, switches and batteries can often be overlooked when you’re hot and miserable and afraid of spending a day or night in scorching heat.

If your central AC is indeed working but just not keeping things as cool as you’d like, then it’s time to start trying to make the system more efficient. One of the best places to start is with the metal duct work that brings the cool air to various rooms. You’ll want to first check for leaks or obvious holes or breaks anywhere along the duct work.

There are a few ways to look for leaks, but a visual inspection is always best. Get your flashlight, put on some gloves and just look up and down a all the trunks and arms of your metal ducts, looking for any sort of breakages, cracks or even pinholes that may have developed. Sometimes you can find holes just by standing still and listening for a slight hissing of air when your AC is running. Stay cool and good luck!