Valley residents using air conditioners already

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With temperatures in the 80s, Valley residents have been turning on their air conditioners early.

This is only the beginning, and we all know the inevitable is coming. Being prepared for the heat is the key to comfort and less hassle when the temperatures reach their threshold.

Cooling experts like Bud Lewis say now is the time to make them your best friends.

"It gets busy in short spurts. As soon as it starts to warm up, we start getting really busy," Lewis said.

He said routine maintenance is key to preventing a malfunction during the hottest days of the summer. He added that since your heating and cooling system accounts for more than 50 percent of energy costs in your home, it's important to maintain.

Lewis said while changing the air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your air conditioner working, there are other things the average resident can't fix.

"There are things that can cause failures. Bad capacitors, if they're low, it's hard on the motors. If the compressor has a bad capacitor, It won't start, but it draws a lot of amperage trying to without the capacitor, which can burn the compressor up."

That's a problem Scottsdale resident David Kolander never wants to have. He had all three of his air-conditioning units serviced Friday. He wants to be prepared, especially since temperatures are expected to creep back into the 80s over the weekend.

"They're so reliable, and everything just keeps working great," Kolander said. "So, we find it pays to have them come in every so often and make sure everything is functioning."

Experts say air conditioners need to be tuned up once a year every year.