How to Keep Your AC Running Smoothly Throughout the Year

staying cool in summer heat

Air conditioners are a vital component of many homes, both to provide comfort in the hot Dallas summers and to reduce humidity levels. In order to prevent costly repairs and maximize the lifespan of an air conditioning system, there are steps that can be taken to ensure it runs smoothly throughout the year. This article will discuss how to keep an AC running smoothly throughout the year by addressing maintenance needs and other preventive measures. If you are not comfortable doing any of these tasks, reach out to your local HVAC company.

The first step in keeping an air conditioner running is to have regular maintenance done on the unit. This can include cleaning or changing filters, inspecting wiring and connections, testing thermostat accuracy, and cleaning the outside condenser unit. Having a professional inspect the unit annually is a good way to ensure any potential problems are identified early before they become major issues.

Finally, other steps that can be taken to keep an AC running smoothly include keeping the area around the unit clear of debris and making sure outside vents or louvers remain unobstructed. Additionally, sealing up any cracks or gaps around windows or doors can help improve efficiency by keeping conditioned air from escaping outside. By following these steps, homeowners can save money on energy bills as well as prolong the life of their air conditioner.

Understanding The Different Components Of AC Systems

Air conditioning systems are comprised of several components that work together to keep a home or office comfortable. The compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coils and expansion valve are the main components of an AC system. The compressor is the heart of the system, responsible for taking in refrigerant and compressing it into a high-pressure gas before releasing it to the condenser coils. Condenser coils then transfer the gas to the evaporator coils, which cools and dehumidifies air while allowing it to circulate through ducts and vents in a building. Finally, expansion valves open and close as needed to allow refrigerant to enter the evaporator coil. Each component plays an essential role in cooling air effectively.

Regular maintenance is critical for AC systems to operate at optimal efficiency levels throughout each season. Without regularly scheduled inspections and cleaning, components can become dirty or damaged over time, leading to increased energy consumption as well as indoor air quality issues such as mold growth. Proper maintenance helps ensure proper performance for years of reliable service.

Regularly Scheduled Inspections And Cleaning

Statistics show that the average lifespan of an AC system is around 8 to 15 years, although many systems can last longer if they are regularly maintained. To ensure your AC system is running smoothly throughout the year, it is important to have regularly scheduled inspections and cleaning. The following are some of the key aspects of this maintenance:

  • Cleaning or replacing air filters
  • Checking for debris buildup in the evaporator coils
  • Inspecting refrigerant levels

It is also important to check and adjust any electrical connections as part of a regular inspection. In addition, checking for any signs of wear and tear on the fan belt will help prevent unexpected breakdowns. By taking these steps, you can make sure your AC system remains in top condition throughout the year. Clear filters allow for maximum airflow through the system, which helps maintain its efficiency and keeps energy costs down. Checking and replacing filters will be discussed in more detail in the next section.

Checking And Replacing Filters

It is essential to regularly check and replace air conditioner filters. This will ensure that the air circulating through the system remains clean, reducing the possibility of dirt and debris accumulating in other areas of the unit. In order to keep your system running as efficiently as possible, filters should be changed every 30 days or so. Furthermore, once a year, it is recommended to have professional technicians inspect and clean the entire system. This will help to keep it operating at its peak performance level for a longer period of time.

Transitioning into the next section about refrigerant level check-up, it is important to note that checking and replacing filters are only part of what must be done in order to maintain an efficient AC system throughout the year.

Refrigerant Level Check-Up

In order to keep your air conditioning system running effectively, it is important to check the refrigerant level regularly. Like a dormant dragon waiting for its prey, an AC unit with insufficient refrigerant will not be able to perform its cooling duties. To ensure that your AC runs optimally, have a professional technician check the refrigerant levels as part of your regular maintenance schedule. Do not attempt to check it yourself. If you have low refrigerant, your home may not cool as much as when it's fully charged.

The technician will first use gauges to measure the amount of pressure present in each line of the system. They will then compare this information to the manufacturer's specifications and top up any low levels with new refrigerant. It is important that these measurements are accurate and precise, as too little or too much can cause harm to the system.

A well-maintained AC unit runs more efficiently and costs less in energy bills over time. In addition, an annual check-up of refrigerant levels minimizes the risk of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs due to inadequate temperatures during peak heat waves. With proper care, you can prepare your AC for summertime success and move on to discussing condenser coil cleaning as a necessary step towards keeping your air conditioner running smoothly throughout the year.

Condenser Coil Cleaning

The next step in keeping your AC running smoothly is to clean the condenser coils. These coils are an essential component of the system and should be cleaned regularly. The condenser coils dissipate heat in the air conditioning system, so if they are clogged with dirt or debris, the system will not be able to cool as efficiently. It is important to check and clean the condenser coils on a regular basis to ensure that they are functioning properly.

To do this, you will need to turn off the power to the AC unit before beginning any work. Once you have done this, remove any debris that may have accumulated around the condenser unit. Then use a soft brush to gently scrub away any built-up dirt or debris from the outside of the coil fins. Finally, use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to suck away any remaining dirt or dust inside of the coil fins. Once you have finished cleaning, make sure that all connections are securely fastened before turning on power again. After these steps are completed, your AC unit will be ready for inspection for leaks in its ductwork.

Inspecting Ductwork For Leaks

In order to keep an air conditioner working well throughout the year, it is important to inspect the ductwork for any leaks. This can be done by visually inspecting each joint and seam of the ductwork. Additionally, a pressure test can be performed with a manometer to detect any pressure losses due to leaks. Here are some tips for successful inspection:

  1. Check that all joints are sealed properly and have no gaps or holes.
  2. Inspect the insulation around the ducts for tears or rips which could lead to air escaping the system.
  3. Look for signs of water accumulation within the ducts which could indicate a potential leak in that area.
    Once all potential leaks have been identified and repaired, it is important to consider professional maintenance services in order to prevent further issues from occurring.

Professional Maintenance Services

It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this certainly applies to air conditioning. Professional maintenance services are essential for ensuring that one's AC unit runs smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. Not only can these services detect small problems before they become major ones, but they can also help identify and fix underlying issues that may be causing the AC to malfunction.

These services typically include checking the filters, cleaning the coils, adjusting the pressure levels on the compressor, checking for leaks, and inspecting wiring connections. They may also involve replacing parts such as thermostats and fan motors if necessary. By having a professional inspect your AC regularly, it can extend its life-span as well as improve its performance. In addition to these preventive measures, professional technicians are trained to recognize any potential safety hazards related to air conditioners. This can help keep one's home safe from potential risks like fires or hazardous gasses due to faulty wiring or other malfunctioning components.

Overall, professional maintenance services are an important part of keeping one’s air conditioner running smoothly throughout the year. Regular inspections by qualified professionals can not only identify potential problems quickly but also provide peace of mind knowing that one's home is safe from any potential risks associated with air conditioning systems.


Maintaining an AC system is like maintaining a car. It requires regular check-ups and care to ensure it runs smoothly throughout the year. With proper attention and maintenance, one can maximize the efficiency of their AC systems while minimizing costly repairs and energy bills. By understanding the different components of AC systems, scheduling regular inspections and cleaning, checking and replacing filters, having refrigerant level check-ups done, cleaning condenser coils, inspecting ductwork for leaks, and investing in professional maintenance services when needed - it’s possible to keep your AC running optimally all year round.

Just like the engine in a car needs oil to operate properly, an AC system needs regular inspection and maintenance to ensure its parts are working together efficiently. It’s important to stay on top of these tasks as they will keep your air conditioning system running like a well-oiled machine all year long - saving you time, money and energy in the long run.

All in all, taking care of your AC system does not have to be an overwhelming task. With regular maintenance checks and services from a qualified HVAC technician - you can rest assured that your cooling system will be ready when you need it most.

If you enjoyed this article, check out these other articles about AC Maintenance:
Choosing The Right Air Filter For Your HVAC System
The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Your AC for Optimal Efficiency