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Lauren's List: Tips To Keep Your A/C Running Smooth In The Summer Heat

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The summer heat makes many people extremely grateful for the invention of the air conditioner, including CBS4's Lauren Pastrana.

We all know how lucky we are to have them here in South Florida, but it's really important that we take care of them properly.

Today's "Lauren's List" has a few tips for keeping your A/C running smoothly all summer long.

  1. Change the filter: This seems easy enough, but it's easy to forget to change that filter often. You can improve energy use for your AC by 5 to 15 percent just by replacing a dirty filter, and there are even subscription services out there now that you can sign up for and a new filter will arrive at your house every couple of months or so. Every few months, you filter is so filled with dirt that air can't pass through the unit properly.
  1. Clean the coils: Cleaning the coils will clear out grime that's decreasing your unit's efficiency. Do it at the start of the warm season, and check it from time to time, especially after a big storm with high winds to make sure the coils are still clear.
  1. Don't go too low: Suddenly lowering your A/C from 77 to 68 isn't going to get it colder any faster. It's still a degree-by-degree process. So it's better to keep it programmed for moderate fluctuations during the day depending on who is home and what you're doing.
  1. Watch your windows: If you want to keep your A/C from working too hard, or you want save on those cooling costs, check your windows! Keep them closed and covered during the hottest part of the day, especially the windows where the sun hits directly. You can even consider adding a heat-reducing window film to help keep some of that sunny warmth out.

Is your A/C working overtime this summer?

Tell Lauren on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future "Lauren's List" send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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