During the warm and hot months of the year, your central air conditioning system provides relief from the heat and humidity. Air conditioning is likely to be one of your biggest summertime expenses. Follow these four easy tips for maintaining your air conditioner, staying comfortable and saving money.Clean or Replace the Air FilterOne of the most important maintenance tasks for your home's central air conditioning system is cleaning or replacing its air filter. The air filter is situated in a metal housing. It might require a screwdriver to open the access door. The filter slides out. If it is disposable, throw it in the trash and put in a new filter. For reusable filters, wash it according to the manufacturer's directions and return it into the correct position.Bleach the Condensate LineThe condensate line is a piece of PVC pipe that goes from the condenser unit's drain into the main drain of your home. Some companies, like A & E Heating and AC Inc., know that humidity condensed out of your home's air is turned into liquid and flows out the drain, through the condensate line and into the waste water system. Shut down the air conditioner, disconnect the condensate line, and pour a 10 percent bleach solution into it. This removes algae and mold, which can obstruct the pipe.Clear the Area around the Compressor UnitThe compressor unit is the outdoor portion of the system. Remove tall grass, shrubs, flowers, and tree branches that surround it. The unit needs at least six feet of clearance above and around all sides in order to have optimal air flow for dissipating the heat.Vacuum Vents and Air DuctsRemove the vent covers and use the hose attachment of your vacuum to remove built-up dust. If you can see that there is dust deep into the vents and your vacuum hose cannot reach it, contact a duct cleaning service. The layers of dust build up over time and block some of the air intake and exhaust in your home's living spaces. Make sure that all of the vents are open so that the conditioned air can flow into all of your home's living spaces.Each of these tips allows you to perform some simple maintenance and boost the efficiency of your home's air conditioner. These tips also help to keep your home's air cleaner and healthier. Be sure to schedule an air conditioner tune-up once per year, preferably in the spring so that any problems can be identified and fixed.