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What Happens When You Skip AC Maintenance?

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard countless HVAC professionals stress the importance of having your air conditioner maintained annually. It’s widely considered to be one of the best things you can do to prolong the life of the system, and to help you avoid the costs of a major repair. But what really happens when you skip annual maintenance for one, two, or even three or more years? From energy bill spikes to sudden system breakdowns, here are some of the issues you might encounter if you decide to skip your air conditioner’s annual maintenance appointment.

Higher energy bills

Keeping up with annual maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent your energy bills from getting too out of control during the summer. Maintenance helps your air conditioner keep running at its best by ensuring key components are oiled, tightened, tuned-up, and ready to stand up to the high demands of scorching temperatures. Without it, these components can run into problems both big and small. And when they do, they’ll end up having to work harder to cool your home effectively. You’ll end up paying for this in the long run in the form of higher energy bills.

Having an efficient, well-maintained air conditioner is the best way to reduce your home’s energy usage. But, there’s more you can do to use less energy throughout your household, which can save you money and have a positive impact on the environment. Along with regular maintenance, you can keep your summer AC bill in check by:

  • Adjusting your thermostat
  • Scheduling a home energy audit
  • Utilizing blackout curtains and sunshades
  • Fixing leaky windows and doors
  • Limiting the use of heat-generating appliances and electronics
  • Using your ceiling fans

Poor indoor air quality

Your air conditioner does more than just cool the air. It’s also the first line of defense for keeping dust, dirt, and other pollutants from circulating throughout your home. Skipping maintenance leaves your system vulnerable to these airborne invaders. Along with keeping up with your regular maintenance schedule, you can do your part to improve the air quality in your home by changing your filters every month.

For the cleanest air possible, you can breathe easy with a home purification system. Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing has been a go-to source for air purification solutions throughout the Valley, and we’re proud to bring the valuable innovations from ActivePure® Technology to countless homes and businesses alike.

Higher chance of system breakdowns

There’s nothing worse than hearing your air conditioner suddenly shut down in the middle of a triple-digit summer day. While it may feel like these breakdowns come out of nowhere, the problem likely grew from a minor, fixable one into a major one over time. During a maintenance call, a technician can catch these problems ahead of time, and fix things like refrigerant leaks, evaporator coil issues, and motor problems before they cause major headaches down the line. Given the costs associated with an emergency AC service call and repair, it’s best to save yourself some money by keeping up with annual maintenance.

If your air conditioner does break during the summer, don’t panic. Here are tips you can use to keep cool while you wait for a technician to arrive.

  • Close the blinds
  • Turn off as many lights as possible
  • Turn your ceiling fans on
  • Drink plenty of cold water
  • Stay downstairs (remember, heat rises)
  • Take a cold shower or bath

Frequent repairs

A poorly maintained air conditioner is going to break more often than a properly maintained one. Airflow problems are common with air conditioners that are not well maintained, which can lead to issues with the evaporator coils. In extreme cases, the coils can freeze completely, causing the system to overheat and shut down without warning. Other problems you may encounter include:

  • Failing compressors
  • Broken or damaged fan blades
  • Electrical issues
  • Damaged capacitors
  • Refrigerant leaks

These frequent repairs can add up fast, which is why it’s best to avoid them altogether with regularly scheduled maintenance.

Shorter system lifespan

It’s no secret that Arizona’s climate is harsh on air conditioners. The brutal summer conditions and long cooling season reduce the average air conditioner lifespan compared to other areas of the country. Skipping maintenance can shorten your air conditioner’s lifespan even further, leaving you with the task of budgeting for a total system replacement years sooner than necessary.

Imagine if you drove your car for miles and miles, year over year with no oil change or tune-up with a mechanic. The car would likely break down and not last as long as a car that had regular oil changes. The same logic applies to your air conditioner. Without maintenance, the inner workings of your air conditioner will be subject to more wear-and-tear with no relief. For example, the moving parts in your air conditioner need to be lubricated in order to work smoothly. If these parts are under-lubricated as a result of a lax maintenance schedule, the resulting friction can accelerate wear-and-tear and put major strain on the system.

Your air conditioner is a major investment—likely one of the biggest investments you’ve made in your home. Make sure you get your money’s worth with a well-maintained system that lasts for years to come.


What the Hays AC maintenance program can do for you

Our AC maintenance program includes a 33-point inspection followed by any applicable adjustments or tweaks needed for the system. By using our comprehensive air conditioner service checklist, our technicians can keep your AC unit running even on the hottest days of summer. Some of the individual services included in our bi-annual maintenance program include:

  • Replace or clean air filters
  • Check thermostat operation
  • Check ductwork and static pressure
  • Inspect disconnect and fuses
  • Tighten electrical connections
  • Oil and check blower motor
  • Inspect indoor coil for buildup
  • Check access valves for leaks
  • Check refrigerant
  • Oil and check outdoor fan motor
  • And several other individual inspections

We take pride in providing prompt, professional, and thorough service to every customer. When you trust Hays to maintain your air conditioner, you can rest assured that you’re putting your system in good hands. Contact us to get started.

About the Author

Chris Hays

Founder of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the founders of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Hays today.