When the temperatures outside heat up and there seems to be no end in sight for cool weather, you rely upon your home air conditioner to keep you comfortable and out of the dangerous heat. High temperatures in the summer not only make you uncomfortable, but they can put you at risk for heat illness, which when left untreated can result in death. Here are some tips to help you take great care of your home's air conditioner so it will work right all summer long and you can stay comfortable and safe.

Maintain the Outside Compressor

You don't want to forget the outside compressor of your home's air conditioner system, which usually sits along an exterior wall of your home. This compressor works overtime during the heat of summer to pull heat from your home and expel it outside. When you can shade this component of your air conditioner, it helps it to run more efficiently because it does not have to work as hard.

Unless your compressor is installed on the north side of your home, try to provide shade to it by planting shrubbery around it to help keep it cool. However, be careful not to allow vegetation to grow too close to your unit. Leave approximately three feet of space around your compressor and clean out any leaves, twigs, and trash that may accumulate around it.

If the compressor gets dirty inside and collects debris on the interior where the blower fan runs, talk to your air conditioner professional about cleaning out the interior. They can spray out and clean the interior components and remove debris from the coils to help your compressor work more efficiently. There are cleaning solutions you can use as a DIY cleaning project, just be sure you disconnect the compressor's power before you remove the outside cover and apply water and cleaner.

Arrange For Yearly Care

Along with changing out your air conditioner's air filter every month or two, you should arrange for a professional tune-up by a licensed HVAC professional. They will go through your system to check all areas for problems or damage and get them repaired. For example, they can check the electrical wiring to make sure there have been no pest problems over the winter, which can cause wiring damage.

Your air conditioning professional will also inspect the blower belt and motor to make sure they run smoothly. A full tune-up will also check and clean the condenser coils for build-up or damage and also check the refrigerant levels.