Written by Charlotte Shaff and featured on 12news.com on April 21, 2020.

Triple-digit temperatures are in the forecast and summer is not far behind. Then come higher energy bills while frequently running the air conditioner. There a few things you should do now to stay cool and save money.

1. Turn our air condition on and run it

“The most important thing you can do right now is turn your air conditioning on and run it. And make sure it works,” Mike Donley, owner of Donley Service Center in Phoenix, said.

It is an obvious but valid point: If you wait until the temperature climbs into the nineties and beyond to test your unit, you may end up in a hot house for days as air conditioner repair companies are entering their busy season.

2. Schedule a tune up

Donely also says it is time to set up a tuneup. These tuneups should happen at least annually.

“Technicians should be working on the air conditioner for 30 to 45 minutes,” Donely said. “They should be actually cleaning leaves and dirt and dust out of it, cleaning the coils and taking temperatures and pressures and a lot of data; versus, just coming in and looking at it and listening to it and then selling you some stuff.”

While this service may cost you close to $100, it will help you save in the long run.

3. Change your filter regularly

Another cost-saving tip: change your filter regularly. “The A/C unit is breathing. Air is coming into it and then going into your house. A plugged filter clogs that up. So you are just not getting as much airflow, and it also affects the efficiency of the air conditioner.”

Finally, Donley says a well-maintained air conditioning unit in Arizona should last 12 to 15 years.

Although, you may want a new unit with better technology before then.