A hot summer such as the one we are experiencing is a good reminder to be certain your cooling systems are safe and effective. If your home has a central cooling system, make sure the outside unit has “room to breath.” Keep it clear of vegetation and yard waste. It is helpful to clean the outside unit occasionally with a garden hose on low pressure. Do not use a power washer or other similar high pressure cleaning machine as this can damage the cooling fins. For the inside unit, be sure to replace the furnace filter monthly. This will keep the cooling coil clean of dirt and debris and will help your system work more effectively. If you are using window air conditioning units, you should also change or clean the filter monthly. In addition, never run a window air conditioner on an extension cord or on an outlet that has insufficient amperage to run the unit. Many summer house fires are caused this way. If you are a home owner, have your home checked for outdated wiring. If you are a renter, your landlord should do this for you. Many older homes built before the 1950’s have outdated knob and tube wiring which can easily overheat and cause fires when window air conditioners are in use. It is great to stay cool and comfortable when the summer heat is high but be sure you are doing so safely!