Tempe, Arizona (NAPSI) - Heating and cooling is the single biggest energy user in a home and accounts for about 40 percent of all the energy consumed by homeowners but high heating and cooling bills don’t have to get you hot under the collar if you follow a few simple steps to ensure that your equipment operates as efficiently as possible.

What You Can Do

• Clear away leaves, grass, weeds, plants and other debris that block airflow through an outdoor condensing unit—the large metal box in your yard next to the house. Anything that collects on the unit’s fins will block airflow and reduce its efficiency. Grass clippings thrown by the lawn mower are particularly common offenders.

• Occasionally clean the outdoor condensing unit by lightly spraying it with a water hose but do not use a pressure washer.

• Make sure air vents inside your home are not obstructed by furniture.

Get Professional Help

According to the experts at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), it’s also a good idea to hire a professional to service your air conditioner. A well-trained technician can safely find and fix problems in the system. Look for a technician who is certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE). You can find a NATE-certified technician online at www.natex.org.

Learn More

For further information about heating and cooling or to search for AHRI-certified products, visit www.ahrinet.org or call (703) 524-8800.