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Pulling the air conditioner from storage, prepping it for another summer

By KATRINA SMITH

With warm temperatures set to return in the days ahead, preparation is key when it comes to beating the heat.

That makes now a prime time to pull the old air conditioning unit out of moth balls and make sure it is in good working order.

Experts say the first thing you want to do upon getting the air conditioner out of storage is to change the filter. With newer units, that means taking the filter out of the front and washing it under warm water and putting it back into place. With older units, the filter will need to be replaced every year.

However, experts also say to be on the lookout for signs that it is time to replace your air conditioner all together. That inspection can include looking at the cooling fins to see if they are clogged or caked. If so, it's time to get a new one, something that may not be as expensive as you might think.

"Smaller sized BTU units, which are under 10,000, would not be okay to have serviced, because the cost of AC's have gone down over the years," said Dave Hayes of Dave Hayes Appliance Center. "A small AC that runs close to $100 would be the size to cool a bedroom. Having a person service an AC of that size might be as high as that."

If you are purchasing a new unit, be sure to look for a high-energy rating. You won't find an Energy Star program in the City of Utica, but there is one in place for Boonville residents.

Hayes says to act now while the temperatures are still a little mild if you have to purchase a new air conditioner, as they fly off the shelves once the mercury in the thermometer rises.

For some residents, rebates of $25 to $50 are available when buying a new air conditioner or ceiling fan.

You can find out more by visiting the HEAP website.

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