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Air conditioning can be a big investment, yet we often take it for granted — until it doesn’t work. That’s why it’s important to take care of your air conditioner with regular maintenance. Doing so will preserve the energy efficiency of your system and prevent unexpected service issues — both of which save money over the life of your system.
Experts recommend annual inspection and maintenance, ideally in the spring. Over time, your A/C accumulates dust and dirt in its filters, coils, and fins, which can result in a loss of up to 5 percent of its operating efficiency each year.
Professional service and cleaning once a year accomplishes several things:
As important as annual service by a professional is, the most important maintenance task is one you can do yourself. Changing the air filter every 3 months will help maintain your system’s efficiency. Compared to a clogged, dirty filter, a clean filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent (source: energy.gov). Clean filters are also necessary for maintaining good indoor air quality.
Many heating and cooling companies offer low-priced, preventive maintenance. The lowest offer is not always the best. Make sure you hire a well-trained technician that includes the following in their maintenance service: