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How to tune up your air conditioner for a hot summer


Whether you have a window unit or central air conditioner, they occasionally need attention to keep them running smoothly.

So if your AC is struggling to keep you cool, you can try a few things to make it more efficient to cool your home down faster.

"A dirty filter is a common problem for window and central ACs. It restricts the airflow, which reduces the AC's ability to cool the room," Chris Regan with Consumer Reports told CTV News Toronto.

You can clean and replace filters on your own without a service call. Window units typically have a reusable filter, which you can gently vacuum and wash with soap and water monthly during peak times.

For central AC units, check the manual to see how often the filter should be replaced.

"You'll most likely need to replace your filters more often if you have pets because their hair can clog up the filters faster," said Regan.

Another way to maximize efficiency is to use weather stripping around window units, which keeps the cool air from escaping outside and warm air from sneaking in.

Location can also affect a window AC, as it has to work harder if it's placed in a very sunny spot. Keep your shades and curtains closed during the day to keep the sun from adding extra heat to your home.

"You also want to be sure that your AC has enough cooling capacitor or power. Take a look at the room it's going to be in. If your unit is too small for your space, it will never keep up, especially on those super hot days. On the other hand, if your unit is too large, it might cycle too quickly, not dry out the air and leave your space a little humid," said Regan.

A ceiling fan can help boost the effects of your air conditioning by a couple of degrees. There are also portable air conditioning units, though tests have shown they cost more and are less efficient than a window unit. Top Stories

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