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Skilled to Work: How to keep your air conditioner running more efficiently this summer

Service technicians with Local 91 Sheet Metal Workers Union make house calls and offer tips

ELDRIDGE, Iowa — With temperatures rising fast, more people are cranking up their air conditioning. Skilled professionals with SMART Local 91 Sheet Metal Workers Union have been making regular maintenance calls to keep AC units in good working order. 

Service technician Dan Edwards has been on the job for 22 years. After greeting a homeowner, he heads to the basement to take readings on incoming and returning air temperatures and check the air filter. He says some people aren't sure whether they should even turn on their air conditioning before he visits.

"So I just try to explain to them, by all means turn them on, and if they have a problem give us a call and we'll try to get out sooner for you," Edwards said. "Otherwise, as long as it's being checked some time throughout the summer, that's the most important thing."

Next, he takes his test kit around the house to take a look at the outdoor AC unit. The heat and humidity puts a strain on air conditioners, especially if they haven't been cleaned in a while. Edwards takes a hose to it -- something he says homeowners can do themselves. 

"Even though customers might think it looks clean, it doesn't hurt for people to at least go check," Edward said. 

Keeping the unit clean and clear improves efficiency and can extend the lifetime of a unit.