Your AC is one of your home’s major systems. It’s critical for comfort, especially if you live somewhere like Las Vegas with triple-digit temperatures. AC units aren’t exactly cheap to replace, either, so you’ll want to keep yours in the best condition possible.
Depending on the unit and how well you take care of it, you may get somewhere between 15 to 20 years of use from it. That’s a long time, and even more incentive to keep up with a maintenance routine like those laid out below.
Every Three to Six Months
One of the most frequent (and important) air conditioning maintenance steps is changing out the air filter. Many filter types should be changed every three months to prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, and debris. Some filters may go as long as six months. Regardless, you’ll need to change your filter at least twice per year to maintain good airflow and air quality.
Several maintenance steps should occur annually to keep your AC unit in optimal condition. You can perform many of these duties yourself or schedule an air conditioning maintenance service with a reliable company.
All of these steps keep your unit properly functioning, and neglecting them could cause your unit to break down, function poorly, or just use more energy. Any (or all) of those spell bad news for homeowners. Fortunately, you’ll only need to spend a few minutes for most of these steps, which is a small sacrifice for a longer-lasting AC unit!
- Clean the Coils – Many units have two types of coils (condenser and evaporator) and both need annual service. They may need cleaning more often if you live in an area with heavy air pollution.
- Clean and Straighten the Fins – Like the coils, you should clean your fins as part of an annual service (or more often if there’s a buildup of grime). As you’re cleaning, gently straighten out any bent fins you see.
- Maintain the Drain – Mold and/or algae may collect in your drain line, so regular cleaning helps keep it clear.
- Clean Ductwork – Ductwork is an essential part of many AC systems. Inspect yours for mold, mildew, dust in or around vents, or suspected air leaks.
The suggestions above are just the basic groundwork for an air conditioning maintenance routine. To ensure your unit lasts as long as possible, handle basic maintenance (like air filter changes) yourself and schedule an annual service to handle the rest. Your system will last longer, run better, and provide cool comfort when you need it most.
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