AC maintenance is the key to preventing more extensive repairs in the future. Seasonal AC maintenance ensures you’re setting your system up for success all spring and summer long. We’ll look at what you can do and when to call in the pros. The good news is that spending a little now on service and repairs can save you a bundle.

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Importance of AC Maintenance

Your air conditioner is a major appliance in your home, whether you use it often or not. To maintain its value, AC maintenance is the key.

AC System Lifespan and Operating Efficiency

An air conditioner can last 20 years or more; maintenance can be the key to getting the best ROI. For most homeowners and their families, it’s the key to enjoying summer without worrying about high utility bills or appliance failure.

Family enjoying their home after getting air conditioning maintenance

Ensuring Comfort in Every Season

Issues with your air conditioner can develop over the fall and winter while the appliance is not in use. Manufacturers and most HVAC professionals recommend servicing your air conditioner anytime during the season it’s used, typically in spring and summer, to ensure optimal comfort. Extra tip: schedule maintenance early to avoid the rush during peak temperatures. At Hoffmann Brothers, our expert technicians are happy to share tips about what homeowners can do independently and when to call in a pro.[1]

Cost-Saving Benefits

Prioritizing preseason system testing will save you money! No one wants to see their bills go up during summer. If you put off home AC maintenance, it will eventually hit your wallet. To keep utility bills as low as possible, servicing and repairing your AC can be the key to giving your budget a break.

Spring Maintenance Tips

Here’s what to know as you prep your AC unit after the winter season.

Safe DIY Spring Maintenance

Testing your system after winter is the best way to avoid significant problems. Safe DIY spring maintenance will vary for every homeowner, depending on your skill level. Here are a few DIY tasks for indoor units that are relatively simple for most homeowners:

  • Filters: Change the air filter! Simple and practical, this maintenance tip helps your AC run much more effectively. The good news is that the more you change out, the more checks you do, the more efficient your AC will run.[2]
  • AC drain maintenance: Find the access point, usually in the attic, and then use equal parts water and bleach to clean out the debris from the drain lines.
  • Evaporator and condenser coils: You can usually clean the coils with only soap, water, and a splash of vinegar. After the mixture has done its magic for about 10 minutes, you can use a hose to get the rest off.
AC with Low Refrigerant Levels and Icy Evaporator Coil Shows Need For Air Conditioning Maintenance

Recommended Professional Spring AC Maintenance

For the more involved tasks for indoor units, we recommend hiring a seasoned professional:

  • Ducts: A thorough inspection of your ductwork will usually require a professional with the tools and expertise to verify your ductwork’s efficiency.
  • Coolant line inspection: Coolant lines need to be intact (no cracks or rotting), and there needs to be enough refrigerant based on the size of the unit. A professional will usually have better detection tools to ensure safe coolant lines.
  • Connections: A professional will test your electrical connections to ensure no broken or interrupted circuits or fuses.
  • Pipes: If the AC pipe insulation begins to wear away, more condensation will occur. To avoid moisture damage, a technician will check how the insulation has held up after the colder seasons.
  • Unit Location: AC units can shift or move with the ground, an AC professional can ensure nothing has moved, was damaged with the shifting, and that the unit is still level.

Since spring is the most crucial season, it’s important to complete everything on the air conditioning maintenance checklist. Calling a pro may be your best bet if you don’t want to miss anything.

Preparing Outdoor AC Unit For Spring

The exterior of your outdoor unit needs to be clear of debris. If the unit is covered in leaves or twigs, you’ll need to clear it away. Two feet of clearance should be on all sides.

Summer Maintenance Tips

Summer AC maintenance is similar to spring maintenance, though there’s usually less work involved.

Homeowner in need of AC Maintenance Near Me After Discovering AC not cooling

Safe DIY Summer AC Maintenance

Check the filters, drain, outdoor debris, ducts, and evaporator coils for signs of distress for indoor units, and follow the tips for spring AC maintenance if they’re clogged, dirty, or showing signs of wear. When temperatures can be unpredictable, the stress on your property can be considerable.

Issues may only take a few weeks to form as the system adjusts to the warmer climate. If you’re noticing signs of distress, like shuddering noises or warm air coming from your unit, it may be time to call in reinforcements.

Recommended Professional Summer AC Maintenance

Professionals are usually needed during the summer if you have significant problems with your unit. This can include power outages, leaking refrigerant, or pipe insulation breakdown. For instance, if you’re starting to see leaks of either water or refrigerant, you may need a professional to service the drain.

Preparing Outdoor AC Unit

Preparing the outdoor AC unit is a matter of keeping it free from debris (e.g., litter, twigs, leaves, etc). Make sure to have two feet of clearance in every direction all summer.

Additional Home Maintenance to Benefit Your AC’s Function

In addition to standard seasonal AC maintenance, you can do several things around your home to improve your AC’s efficiency:

  • Sealing entrances: Leaky windows and doors will make your AC work much harder to do the same job. If it’s been a while since you’ve tested your insulation or noticed a draft, you’ll want to take care of it during the spring. As we shift from season to season, this is a common problem for many property owners.
  • Add some shade: Shade can do a remarkable job of keeping your home cool from season to season. Awnings, trees, and shrubs can go a long way toward bringing down your energy bills and giving your AC a break.[3] (Plus, you won’t have to worry as much if there’s a power failure on your block.)
  • Ductwork inspection: Homeowners may be able to spot a sag in the crawlspace ductwork without special tools, but a whole-home inspection may need to be done by a professional.
  • Cleaning: Cleaning your home goes a long way toward ridding the air of everything from dust to dander. Much like changing the filter, it’s a proactive way to help you avoid stressing the appliance.

Common Spring and Summer AC Issues & Troubleshooting

Preventative air conditioning maintenance can help you avoid many issues during spring and summer.

Common Spring AC Issues and Solutions

You might encounter the following AC problems during spring air conditioner maintenance:

  • Dirty filters: Change or clean your filters at least once every three months.
  • Malfunctioning thermostats: Start by resetting the device or changing the batteries. You may need a professional if the system is short-cycling.
  • Leaks: Leaks are likely due to a drain or pipe problem, both of which will require a professional service.

Common Summer AC Issues and Solutions

Summer air conditioner maintenance may have to tackle the following:

  • Power shortages: Tripped fuses or overloaded circuits are common over the summer. Resetting the fuses can be the answer, though you may have the wrong unit size if it’s constantly blowing the fuse.
  • Clogged drain lines: Summer brings dust, so you may need to call the pros to clean your drains.
  • Ice: If ice forms on the evaporator coil, adding more refrigerant may be the solution. However, it can also be a sign that your AC is breaking down, which would require a professional service.

Importance of Preseason System Testing

Preseason AC inspections and testing catch issues early on. If you’re not testing the system, you could recirculate dirty air on the property, leading to health risks.

Another major hazard, especially for older systems, is fire. Broken fans or malfunctioning pipes can cause heat to build up, triggering flames. Even if you have an outdoor unit, the damage to the property can be considerable. You also avoid unnecessary hassles when you test your system early and perform regular pre-season maintenance.

Pre-Schedule Regular AC Maintenance for Comfort and Convenience Every Season

If you’ve ever had to call a technician during the height of summer for AC repair, you likely already know the value of pre-scheduling regular AC maintenance. If you wait until there’s a problem with the AC, you’re at the mercy of the heat until help arrives.

A clean, well-functioning AC will carry you comfortably through the warm seasons.


Does my warranty cover AC maintenance?

It depends on the warranty, but often the answer is no. A manufacturer’s warranty will usually only cover material defects, though some may include yearly checkups. Additionally, many manufacturers will void warranty on parts if your air conditioning unit is not regularly maintained.

How do I start my AC after winter?

We recommend having a tune-up before you start the AC. Whether you do it on your own or call a professional, you’ll need to check the drains, refrigerant levels, coils, and filters to see how they’ve fared over the past few months.

How long does it take to unblock a drain?

Unblocking a drain can take a few minutes, or it might take several hours of work. It all depends on which drain has the clog, how severe it is, and whether it’s easy to access. Taking the trap loose under the sink is very different from crawling under a house to get to outgoing pipes.

Is it necessary to service my AC every year?

Hoffmann Brothers recommends a yearly service, regardless of the age of your unit. This is because more than just the appliance can cause homeowners problems, such as the piping and thermostat.

What should AC maintenance include?

AC maintenance should include a thorough check of the most important components. Your filters, ducts, and power connections are all important to the energy efficiency and safety of the unit.

How do I know if my AC needs maintenance?

Weak airflow, warm airflow, strange odors, loud noises, and constant cycling can all indicate that your system needs maintenance. Other signs include increasing energy bills, water leaks, or high humidity in your home.

Is AC preventative maintenance worth it?

Yes, generally, you’ll spend less if you maintain your AC. A professional can catch problems when they’re still easily fixed rather than when they spin out of control.

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