In order to keep your air conditioner running smoothly you need to do ac maintenance. It will help to extend the life of your air conditioner and help save money on energy. You should always do the ac maintenance or have it done before you start to use it at the beginning of the summer and the end of the summer. The air conditioner has moving parts and to help prevent any injuries make sure that you shut off the power before doing maintenance. On a central air conditioner there should be a shut-off box near the unit.After it is turned off you need to clean around the outside of the unit. Overtime there may be an accumulation of dead leaves so these need to be removed. During the time you are using your central air conditioner make sure that you keep any grass from mowing is kept away from the unit to maximize its efficiency. Rake up any dead leaves and debris along with cutting back any vegetation or branches at least twenty-four inches from the central air conditioner. This makes sure that there is the right amount of air flow around the unit. During the winter to make the spring ac maintenance easier and quicker place cover over the top of the unit, holding it down with plywood to keep stuff from falling inside the unit. Just cover the top and not the sides because covering the side can cause a build-up of moister and cause corrosion.Use a wrench or screwdriver to remove the fasteners that are holding down the fan cage so you can remove it. If there are any leaves or debris inside the interior you can remove them using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner like a Shop Vac or you can do it by hand. After removing the outer covers take your Shop Vac and use the brush attachment to remove all of the outside dirt. Next you need to use the garden hose with a gently spray to spray through the fins. You need to do this from the inside out so you can remove all debris between them outside on the ground instead of back inside the central air conditioner. If you notice that the fins are really dirty and the water is not cleaning them properly you could use a commercial cleaning spray just for this job. You can get them from your home improvement stores. Make sure that when using this product for ac maintenance that you read the directions carefully.Once you have finished you ac maintenance it is time to turn the air conditioner back on. It is a simple task that a homeowner can do to help their central air conditioner to run efficiently.