If you want to keep your A/C unit in top condition, monthly preventive maintenance is important. Performing routine monthly maintenance on your A/C system will help to lower high A/C bills. Check the filters and if they are dirty change them once a month. Check the compressor to ensure it is efficiently running. Dial down the thermostat a few degrees and save energy. Dirty condenser coils will cause the compressor to run longer/harder and pull more amps which results in premature compressor failure and higher energy bills.
Being a handy DIY (Do-It-Yourself) homeowner and if you are good with fixing mechanical things, you might be able to save some money by doing your own preventive HVAC maintenance. However, a better idea might be to hire a reputable HVAC service company to perform a thorough inspection and do the maintenance on your system at least twice a year, i.e., every fall and spring. Relax and let the pros perform the HVAC maintenance. They will properly inspect and clean the wiring and check the electrical and mechanical parts of the unit. They should check all connections to ensure they are secure and free of corrosion. In addition, they should check the evaporator and condensing unit coils and clean them if needed.
At least once per year, the condenser coil will need a thorough cleaning because the coils collect dust and dirt. Test the A/C unit controls, including the thermostat, relays, and the compressor contactor. Because they tend to weaken, check the motor capacitors to ensure they are within ten percent of their rating. Perform maintenance on the motor as needed by adding oil. Some HVAC motors have sealed bearings and do not need to be oiled. Check the refrigerant level. If the level is low, check for a refrigerant leak.
To increase the efficiency and lifespan of your A/C system, follow a simple maintenance plan schedule such as this one: purchase high-efficiency air filters; keep the A/C unit free of debris, such as leaves, pollen, and grass; keep the area around the outdoor A/C unit open and leave at least a two foot wide area open around the unit; on a monthly basis inspect the refrigerant lines; every 90 days replace the air filter on the indoor HVAC system. On a monthly or seasonal basis, in the summer, turn off the water flow to the furnace humidifier. During the fall season, replace the humidifier filter and turn on the water flow again. On an annual basis, replace the carbon monoxide detector battery. Check the outdoor A/C unit to ensure it is sitting on firm/level ground. Blow out the condensation lines, check the thermostat and clean the A/C condensation drain with a bleach/water solution. Check for unusual readings of all amp draws of all motors. This check should include checking the compressor. Most HVAC service companies offer affordable preventive maintenance plans. For peace of mind, ask your HVAC service company about their preventive maintenance plans and leave your HVAC maintenance worries to the pros.