One home maintenance task that doesn't always make the list is keeping the air conditioner clean and in good shape. This will help it run properly and prevent poor indoor air quality.

Summer’s right around the corner and it’s time to get those air conditioners in good shape. For some, that may involve calling in an HVAC technician, however, for the DIY savvy, this can be done at home with the right knowledge and tools. “Maintaining an air conditioner is essential to ensure the machine operates correctly and extends its working longevity,” says Michael Rubino, mold and air quality expert and founder of HomeCleanse. “This saves money on costly repairs and keeps the energy bills down.”

We’ve created a guide on how to clean an air conditioner at home with expert insights and product recommendations—so you can get the job done before the warm weather arrives.

How often to clean an air conditioner

Kelsey Hei, filtration and indoor air quality specialist at 3M, recommends cleaning an air-conditioning system thoroughly once a year. That said, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the number one maintenance task for AC efficiency is to change air filters regularly. This is true for all air conditioner brands

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