“Hey you. Yeah– the person who pays for me. It’s your air conditioner. Why do you only pay attention to me when I’m broken?!”

While we can’t imagine exactly what your air conditioner would say if it could talk… it would likely go something like that.

It’s tempting to be reactionary when it comes to your AC system. Most people don’t even think about their air conditioner unless it’s malfunctioning or costing them too much money. But it’s important to maintain your heating and cooling system in-between visits from Ahoy! Cooling & Heating. Why? Because the more time you invest in AC maintenance, the less money you’ll spend on repairs and replacements down the road. And you know what that means— more money for more exciting things.

Here are some steps you can take as a homeowner to ensure that your AC system is running properly.

Let it breathe.

Your AC system needs to breathe too. And your favorite backyard tree might be suffocating it. If you’re not clearing out the leaves and debris that accumulate on your air conditioner, you’re not allowing it to draw in air. This causes it to work far too hard to do its job, which puts a strain on your unit, ultimately causing a need for repair. Next time you’re in the backyard sipping on a beer/glass of wine/whatever floats your boat, clear off that debris and give your air conditioner a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Change your filters.

Technically, you’re supposed to change your filters every month. But most of us forget about them entirely… until they’re absolutely disgusting and causing our indoor air quality to suffer. If you forget to change your air filter, you’re forcing your AC system to work twice as hard to do its job. That’s like running a marathon, but only being able to breathe through a straw. Not the most efficient, right? If you’re out of the filters, give us a call. We’d be happy to provide them for you.

Clean your unit… but not too well.

It might be tempting to clean your air conditioner with soap and water, just like you clean everything else in your life. But doing so might cause electrical components to short. And even worse, it creates a serious risk of electrical shock. So keep yourself safe, and refrain from trying to keep your unit squeaky clean. A little dirt won’t break it.

If you’re already doing everything we’ve listed but still running into problems, we recommend becoming a maintenance member. Signing a maintenance agreement provides you with two yearly inspections— one in the spring and one in the fall— plus a host of other exclusive benefits. Read more about our AC maintenance membership here.

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