AC maintenance

Why AC Maintenance Is Important for Home Comfort

Most people associate AC with comfortable summers and chilly winters. While that’s mostly true, some people might not realize the importance of AC maintenance. In fact, failing to maintain your AC system can have long-term negative effects on your home’s value.

An unkempt AC system can cause permanent damage to your home’s structure, finishings, and furnishings. Further, a poorly maintained system can also cause its parts to overheat, which can lead to costly repairs. That said, not every problem with your AC is a sign of trouble. If you’re ready to keep your system in good working condition, read on to learn more about AC maintenance.


All Year takes pride in being the top HVAC company for air conditioning services in Sacramento and surrounding areas. We are committed to providing exceptional customer service and reliable solutions for all your AC needs. Schedule your maintenance check by reaching out to us at (916) 922-7796 or

Air Conditioning Maintenance Explained

AC maintenance is the process of providing proper care to your air conditioning system at regular intervals to reduce the likelihood of bigger problems in the long run. This process involves checking, cleaning, and lubricating your AC to ensure it operates at its peak efficiency and is safe to use.

Conducting regular maintenance can help you save a considerable amount of money. Since HVAC systems run for longer hours than other building systems, a properly maintained system can last up to 15 years without replacing any major components.


Why Is AC Maintenance Important?

Did you know that Americans spend around 90% of their time indoors? This makes the need for a comfortable home even greater.

AC systems are critical to the comfort and health of those living in your home. When they’re not properly maintained, they can break down. And AC breakdowns can lead to health and financial complications.

How to Properly Maintain Your AC

You don’t have to be a technician to maintain your AC system; there are many things you can do on your own, such as the following discussed in the section below.


DIY AC Maintenance

Cleaning the External Unit (Condenser and Compressor)

The condenser is an essential part of your AC system. It can be found outside, in your garage, or attic, and has copper tubes running from it to your house. It cools the air inside and draws warm air out from your home using heat transfer.

To keep your condenser in good condition, follow a regular air conditioning service schedule and keep an eye on any faults or issues.


Step 1: Power off the unit/mains.

First and foremost: When cleaning the unit, make sure that the power is turned off. You can do this by removing the breaker or switch or turning off the power from the main electrical panel.


Step 2: Clear debris and areas around the unit.

Clean the fins regularly by using a rough paintbrush to remove any debris that is easy to dislodge. Then, use your vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to clear away any finer debris. Also, keep the area around the condenser free of any plant growth or other objects.


Step 3: Clean and straighten the AC fins.

If you’re having trouble getting rid of dirt and grime that has built up between the AC fins, a dinner knife can help you out. Use it to scrape away any stuck debris and straighten out any bent fins.


Step 4: Clean the condenser fan.

This area also tends to collect a lot of dust and debris over time, so clean it regularly. The easiest way is by wiping it down with a damp cloth and letting it dry in the sun.


Step 5: Clean the fins inside out.

Cleaning the fins is easy and can be done by spraying water with a garden hose. You can use a hose nozzle for better results. But avoid getting water on the fan motor to prevent damage.

If your fan motor does not have sealed bearings, you can check the lubrication of your fan and add a few drops of electric motor oil (do not use other oils).


Cleaning the Internal Unit (Evaporator and Blower)

The evaporator unit installed inside your house is responsible for regulating the temperature inside. It works together with the AC or heat pump to keep your internal temperature comfortable. However, over time, the evaporator coils can get dirty, which can reduce their efficiency and affect how well they heat or cool your house. So, clean the coils regularly to keep your AC working properly.


Step 1: Clean the evaporator coil.

The evaporator coil door is usually located inside the blower/furnace unit and tends to collect a lot of dust and debris. To clean it, use a soft brush to clear away the dust, then spray a no-rinse coil cleaner on the coil. This liquid will help remove any buildup and improve the coil’s efficiency. Additionally, you can use mild detergent and water to remove any dirt that’s stuck between the coils.


Step 2: Clean the evaporator drain.

When the evaporator drain gets clogged due to the accumulation of algae and mold, it can cause flooding and damage the floor. If the unit has a drain float, it may cease functioning until the water is drained from it. A clogged drain can also produce a bad odor from the unit.

The drain pipe is typically a one-inch wide PVC pipe that drains either inside (sink or utility drain) or outside (near the condenser unit). You can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to clean out the debris from the evaporator drain.


Step 3: Change the blower filter.

The frequency of replacing your blower filter depends on the environment you live in. If your place is dusty, you may need to change the filters more often. Generally, you should change the filter at least twice a year – once before the heating season and once before the cooling season.

When changing the filter, make sure that the airflow rating of the new filter matches that of the existing one. You can find the filter in the enclosure at the end of the fresh air return duct.

After completing all the steps mentioned earlier, your AC unit should now be cleaner and more efficient in controlling the temperature. You can turn on the power and check if it is working correctly.


Professional AC Maintenance

Your HVAC system needs to be serviced periodically by experts to keep it running efficiently for a long time. The following are some things you should leave to the pros:

Sizing Your AC System

When you need to have an AC installed in your home, it is not recommended to estimate what you need on your own. This can result in buying a system that is either too big or too small for your home. It is best to seek the help of a professional who can give you the right numbers.

HVAC professionals take into account things like the volume of cooling, the ambient temperature, and the duration of working out your system. They measure this calculation, called the cooling load, in how many “tons” of cooling is required.

Electrical Issues

Air conditioners are complex systems made up of electric wires, motors, and tubes. Thus, it’s not recommended for individuals who are not familiar with these systems to attempt to check electrical faults on their own. The circuits are intricate, and improper wiring could result in shorts.

Compressor Short-Cycling

If you notice your central cooling system’s compressor turning on and off every 15 minutes or so, it’s important to address the issue quickly. This puts a lot of stress on your AC system, which could cause components to wear out prematurely or lead to a complete breakdown.

However, it can be difficult to determine what’s causing this problem, as there are several possible culprits. That’s why it’s best to leave this job to experienced HVAC experts who can diagnose and fix the issue for you.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your AC is important to keep it functioning properly. While basic tasks can be performed by anyone, a thorough inspection requires specialized skills and knowledge. Hire experienced professionals who possess the right tools and have enough experience working in the industry.

An annual maintenance check is likewise necessary to calibrate and check several aspects of the system.


AC Maintenance Checklist

The following are some of the things you should check for during your AC maintenance:

Outdoor Unit

  • Remove any leaves and debris from the condenser unit.
  • Check the refrigerant levels and adjust them if necessary.
  • Clean the coil and cabinet of dust and debris.
  • Check the drain pan for any blockages that could impede water flow.
  • Inspect the fan and motor for signs of wear and tear.
  • Check the compressor tubing and wires for any damage. 

Indoor Unit

  • Clear the blower housing of debris and clean it if necessary.
  • Check the evaporator coil to make sure it’s draining properly, and clean it if needed.
  • Check the fan motor and belt. If you have an older model, lubricate the motor and replace the belt if necessary.
  • Examine the ignition system and safety controls and adjust them if required.
  • Inspect the ductwork to ensure there are no leaks.
  • Check the air filter and replace it if needed.
  • Check the control box and make sure the connections and wiring are in order. 

 Proper AC and Heating Maintenance

At a minimum, you should aim to have your AC serviced once a year. Neglecting maintenance could lead to major repairs and damage to your home.

So, if you want to get your AC working at its best, get in touch with us today! All Year Heating and Air Conditioning is a reliable HVAC company with more than 45 years of experience. We can assist with your heating and cooling needs, including AC repair and maintenance. You can either call (916) 922-7796 or email You can also check out our promotions page for any special offers!