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      Money Talks News: Getting Your Air Conditioning Ready for Summer

      "Sometimes they don't even realize that they have a filter."

      Air conditioning expert, Ron Martin, has fixed lots of units over his 30 years in the business, and he's seen a lot of preventable problems.

      "One of the biggest problems I see are dirty filters in the system, which also will attribute to a dirty evaporator coil that's in your house or in your furnace."

      Don't wait until the weather heats up and technicians are at a premium. Check your A/C now - to keep from blowing big bucks later. While some things obviously do require a professional, there are things you can do yourself.

      For example, changing your filters. Takes less than two minutes, and is the single biggest bill buster.

      The pipe that carries condensation out can get clogged. Use an algaecide to prevent a messy backup.

      If you don't have a programmable thermostat, adding one can really help you lower your bills. And you can install it yourself if you're at all handy. I did this one.

      The coils on the outside unit need to be clean to work properly. If you can use a hose, you can do this in a couple of minutes. And make sure there's nothing restricting the air flow.

      Then check your duct work and make sure there are no leaks - otherwise you could be air conditioning the attic or basement.

      Bottom line... when it comes to air conditioning, be cool. Do the things you can yourself. Hire a tech if you need one. But get it done before it heats up.

      Want more information on how to save on energy? It's simple.

      Go to and search for "Energy savings." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.