SAN ANGELO, Texas – As more and more days of triple digits stack up in West Texas, it becomes more important to prep and maintain your air conditioning units, both at home and in your car. Summer is only a few days away, and air conditioning units will be working non-stop.

“Check the filter and make sure it’s clean,” explains Nathan Bowles, Owner of Bowles Heating and Cooling. “Most filters should be changed every month. Some of the bigger ones can wait three or four months occasionally. Outdoor units, they don’t have a filter on them. So you need to take a garden hose, turn the power off first to where you’re safe, and wash all the dirt out of it. It goes a long way to keeping it from overheating and causing other problems.”

Car air conditioning is also indispensable throughout Texas, and you can take some steps to do preventative maintenance before it’s too late. One such step includes charging the system with the appropriate coolant if you know of a minor leak or have not run it in a while. Jacob Smedley, a car enthusiast, says his sister learned a valuable lesson on proper maintenance with the cost of repairs making her sweat as much as the heat. “I’ve never charged it with coolant before,” said Smedley, speaking about his own cars. “I should have, I should have on my Honda Civic that I had because it did not blow cool air. I just toughed through it. My sister had to replace her air conditioning in her Nissan Altima. I think they quoted her $2,000. So it is not a small expense if things go really wrong.”

One reason for higher costs and longer service times for residential units, is a delay in shipping, largely resulting from the pandemic. Nathan Bowles says this is mainly tied to labor shortages in the transport sector.