MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With summer just beginning and temperatures hitting dangerous levels, you are probably hoping your home’s air conditioning unit is prepared for the season.

WREG spoke with technician Jason Smith from Choate’s Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing performing routine maintenance on a home’s A.C. unit in Cordova. It is no secret when the heat is on, service techs are on the run non-stop.

“We’re running three to four guys on call every night until 11:00,” Smith said. “We are booked up right now.”

Smith, commercial and residential service manager with Choate’s, says it’s best not to wait until temperatures soar to have your air conditioning unit serviced but rather set up a preventive maintenance schedule.

“It’s kind of like having a car. You want to make sure you get your oil changed in that vehicle,” Smith said. “This is the same principle. You want to make sure you get it washed and get that filter replaced. Get your capacitors checked.”

Air filters should be changed every 30 days during the summer. Use a Sharpie to mark the new one with the date as a reminder.

Smith says some parts naturally fail over years of use, and during the summer heat, a typical A.C unit will be running just about the whole day. He said one sure way to reduce wear and tear and lower your utility bill is to raise the thermostat.

To save energy, they recommend you putting it at 78 degrees. It is a personal comfort settings level, but it is up to you how comfortable you are in your home.

Smith says you will know your A.C is on the “fritz” when both heat and humidity go up in your house, so it is the simple steps before problems set in that can save you big bucks on service and parts in the long run.

They can be anywhere from a $190 fix to anywhere to $1,500-1,800 depending on what component has failed.

Smith also said even though Choate’s technicians are booked., the company is evaluating each service call in an effort to help the elderly, expectant mothers and those with babies in their homes get their A.C issues resolved.

Mark Davison of Remington College listed the following tips to keep your air conditioning running properly:

  • Clean or change the air filter. Not only is this the easiest maintenance function to perform, but it can also lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Wash your reusable filter or replace your disposable filter once a month throughout the summer. 
  • Clear the drain. A clogged drain can cause your unit to work harder to send out less cool air. A clear drain will also prevent water damage to the floor and ceiling. 
  • Remove vegetation around the outdoor unit. So your unit can pull in air, make sure all vegetation is at least two feet away. 
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Smart thermostats are game-changers when it comes to saving money. With them, you can set your house temperature to be warmer when you’re away and more comfortable when you’re home. You can even control the temperature from your smartphone and home voice assistants.
  • Schedule a tune-up. Although do-it-yourself maintenance can help your HVAC system run more smoothly, it doesn’t replace routine tune-ups. Local HVAC professionals can identify problems that you may have missed and save you more money in the long run. 
  • On real muggy days the use of ceiling fans and floor fans can give you a cool sensation when used in conjunction with your ac unit.
  • Keep doors and windows closed as it will make your ac work harder as heat enters the home.
  • Make sure home is weatherized , gaps and cracks in the home can allow heat to enter in structure.
  • Make sure attic insulation is puffy not heavy and dirty as poor insulation will cause heat to penetrate the ceiling and over work ac system. 
  • Going to a box store and purchasing blown newspaper insulation and blowing in the attic will lower light bills and help with an overrun ac system . Have insulation inspected by a professional. 
  • Ventilation of an attic and using attic fans will help with ac cost as well as you are allowing trap heat to escape the attic and lowers light bill.
  • And for budget minded people raising the thermostat to 75 and above will help with cooling cost . The longer your unit runs, the cooler you want your home the more energy you will consume and the more costly your energy bill.