A consensus of our research and interviews clearly encourages maintenance to prevent air conditioning repairs. Why? Yearly maintenance costs are mostly labor. If you wait until your air conditioner breaks, you will likely have to pay for labor and parts. Additionally, most A/C failures happen at the same time for everyone–during the first hot weather or times of the most intense use, such as the hottest day of the year. Since the A/C repair companies are more likely to be overloaded with work then, you will be more likely to pay for an after hours repair or an emergency trip charge on those days.
Small adjustments to your HVAC system can mean big savings in your bills. For example, an air conditioner that runs only one pound low on refrigerant can add 15 percent on your summer cooling bills. Since many A/C units are erroneously installed oversized, you might not notice a slight deficiency in cooling capacity, but you would probably pay attention to a 15% reduction in your highest electric bills.
In addition to annual maintenance from your air conditioning contractor, be sure to change all consumer serviceable air filters in your A/C system according to the manufacturer’s directions. Also have your air ducts checked periodically for leaks. Make sure your ductwork is correctly insulated, especially if it runs through unconditioned space.
If you skimp on regular maintenance and adjustment of your air conditioning system, you will likely pay more each month on your utility bills due to wasted electricity. To top all that off, if you neglect the maintenance on water removal lines and pans, they will sometimes clog up, overflow, and cause water damage to your ceilings, floors and belongings.