Nobody wants to run into expensive air conditioning repairs, especially in the dead heat of summer. Unfortunately, the need for AC system repairs never comes at a good time. Fortunately, you can avoid some of the most common (and costly) central air conditioning repairs by being proactive about your AC system maintenance. Specifically, there are four steps you can take each year to minimize your chances of running into repairs or even premature replacement.

Schedule Annual Tune-Ups

When was the last time your air conditioning unit had an inspection and general tune-up? If you're not already having this done once a year, now is the time to start. Any reputable HVAC company will offer air conditioning inspections, and they're typically not very expensive. These tune-ups often include services like lubrication of moving parts, checking of refrigerant levels, and cleaning of coils. These inspections can help prolong the life of your AC system and make you aware of the need for minor repairs that can save you trouble and money down the road.

Keep Landscaping Trimmed

If you have shrubs or other landscaping around your outdoor AC unit (also known as the condenser), take care to keep it trimmed back. Leaves, branches, and other debris can easily block the circulation and ventilation of your AC condenser. This can not only cause your home's cooling system to work harder than it should but may affect your energy bills as well. 

Change Air Filters Regularly

Your home's HVAC filters should generally be changed at least once every 90 days or so. This is one of the most common AC maintenance tasks that homeowners often forget. With a dirty filter, your AC system has to work a lot harder than it should, which puts unnecessary strain on its parts. Filters are inexpensive and take only seconds to replace, so make sure you're staying on top of this simple yet important maintenance task.

Know Signs of AC Problems

Last but not least, make sure you're aware of common signs of AC problems so you can be proactive and have them repaired before they turn into more serious issues. Some of the more common signs to watch out for include:

  • strange whirring or banging noises during operation
  • uneven cooling (some rooms are colder than others)
  • odors coming from the condenser unit

A little maintenance goes a long way in keeping your cooling system running well, so be sure to follow these tips. Your wallet will thank you!