How To Maintain An Air Conditioner

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Updated August 19, 2022

If you really want to extend the life of your HVAC system, you need to learn how to maintain a central air conditioner. Moreover, you’ll want to know about the installation of a central air conditioner, so you know how to clean it. And, knowing how to turn on your central air conditioner is also important. It’s very simple, to be honest.

This isn’t like window units, in which you need to drain water from window A/Cs, insulate around a window air conditioner, and oil the air conditioner fan motor when necessary. You may want to figure out how to make your air conditioner more efficient, but that’s only in certain circumstances.

The best air conditioners, after all, require regular maintenance to increase their efficacy and overall lifespan. So what things do you have to do to keep your AC unit working properly? Keep reading to find out.


  • There are several steps to take to successfully maintain a central air conditioning unit, thus increasing its lifespan.
  • Start by replacing or cleaning the air filters, as indicated via the instructions, and give each component, like the evaporator coil, a thorough cleaning.
  • You should also hire a pro for an inspection, clear debris from any outdoor components like the condenser unit, and beef up home insulation.

Maintaining a Central AC Unit

There is no single step you have to take to maintain a central air conditioner, like when you learn how to make an air conditioner out of a bucket, but several steps you should regularly take. Here are the primary tasks to perform to maintain a central AC.

Insider Tip

Buy replacement air filters in bulk to save a little money, as you need to replace these filters several times throughout the year.

Replace or Clean the Filters

Just like window units and air purifiers, central AC units have air filters. Keeping these filters in proper working order is paramount when maintaining the system, as dirty filters lead to clogs and all kinds of repair-related issues. Replace the filters with one of a similar type as indicated in the unit’s instruction manual. You should replace these filters every one to three months. Some filters are reusable, meaning you can clean them instead of replacing them. Clean these filters according to the manual every one to three months.

Keep an Eye on Insulation

The key to successfully maintaining a central AC is maximizing overall efficiency. In other words, you never want the unit to have to work too hard. To that end, keep an eye on any and all insulation throughout your home just as you would when learning how to insulate around a window air conditioner. This will ensure maximum efficiency.

Remove Debris

Keep the outdoor unit, including the compressor, free from debris such as tree branches, dirt, and anything else. Regularly check in on these appliances, removing debris if necessary. Remove the fan cage of the condenser/compressor with a screwdriver or wrench to reach debris located beyond the grill.

Schedule a Maintenace Checkup

Hire a professional HVAC inspector to come and take a look at your system once each year. They are trained to catch stuff early, saving you plenty of money in the long run. They’ll put your central AC unit through its paces and find any potential trouble spots. Some pros also perform deep cleanings as part of their overall service package.


Is your AC the right size?

This depends on how well it cools down your home. If you constantly need to break out the garden hose to cool down during the summer months, your outdoor unit may be too small for your home.

How do I best keep my home comfortable and at the right temperature?

Make sure your various components are operating normally, such as your evaporator coil and condenser coils, and set your thermostat to your desired temperature.

Can I reduce my energy bills?

Keep your system maintained and clean to reduce your energy bills and increase energy efficiency. Regular cleanings of an indoor unit or outdoor unit are a must in this regard. Just keep an eye on it and you’ll be fine and well on your way to big savings.

STAT: Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. (source)

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