7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

by | May 28, 2024 | Air Conditioning | 1 comment

Ensuring your air conditioner remains in excellent condition is key to its longevity, efficiency, and overall performance. Proper maintenance helps avoid costly repairs, boosts energy efficiency, and ensures consistent cooling throughout the year. However, many homeowners unintentionally make mistakes that can jeopardize their AC units. Here are seven common pitfalls to avoid when maintaining your air conditioner:

1. Neglecting Regular Filter Changes

Why Regular Filter Changes Matter:

Changing the air filter regularly is one of the easiest yet most frequently overlooked maintenance tasks. A dirty or clogged filter restricts airflow, forcing the system to work harder and leading to increased energy consumption and reduced efficiency.

Consequences of Neglect:

Failing to replace the filter can cause the air conditioner to overheat, potentially damaging key components such as the compressor. Additionally, a dirty filter can diminish indoor air quality, aggravating allergies and respiratory problems.

Best Practices:

Check the filter monthly and replace it every 1-3 months, depending on usage and the type of filter. Homes with pets or high dust levels may require more frequent changes.

2. Ignoring the Condenser Coils

Understanding Condenser Coils:

Condenser coils, located in the outdoor unit, release the heat absorbed from inside your home. Over time, these coils can accumulate dirt, dust, and debris.

Impact of Dirty Coils:

When condenser coils are dirty, they cannot efficiently release heat, causing the system to work harder and consume more energy. This results in higher utility bills and a shorter system lifespan.

Cleaning Tips:

Inspect and clean the coils at least once a year. Remove debris from around the outdoor unit and gently clean the coils with a hose or a coil cleaner. Always ensure the unit is turned off before performing any maintenance.

3. Skipping Annual Professional Maintenance

The Importance of Professional Maintenance:

Annual maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician is essential for keeping your air conditioner in optimal condition. Professionals can identify and address issues that the average homeowner might overlook.

What Technicians Do:

During a maintenance visit, technicians will inspect and clean various components, check refrigerant levels, test electrical connections, and ensure the system is operating efficiently. They can also detect potential problems before they escalate into major issues.

Scheduling Tips:

Schedule a maintenance visit in the spring before the cooling season begins to ensure your AC is ready for the hottest months.

4. Overlooking Thermostat Settings and Calibration

The Role of Thermostat Settings:

Your thermostat is crucial for regulating the temperature and efficiency of your air conditioner. Incorrect settings or calibration can lead to inefficient cooling and higher energy bills.

Common Mistakes:

Setting the thermostat too low can overwork the system, while a poorly calibrated thermostat might not accurately reflect the indoor temperature, resulting in uneven cooling and increased system wear.

Best Practices:

Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule. Ensure the thermostat is properly calibrated and placed away from direct sunlight or heat sources to avoid false readings.

5. Blocking Air Vents and Registers

Why Air Vents Matter:

Air vents and registers are essential for distributing cool air throughout your home. Blocking these vents can disrupt airflow and strain your air conditioner.

Consequences of Blockage:

Blocked vents force the system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, leading to uneven cooling, higher energy bills, and potential system damage.

Ensuring Proper Airflow:

Keep all vents and registers clear of obstructions. Regularly check to ensure they are open and unblocked, and consider balancing the system by partially closing vents in less-used rooms to improve airflow to high-traffic areas.

6. Ignoring Refrigerant Levels

The Importance of Proper Refrigerant Levels:

Refrigerant is essential for the cooling process. If levels are too low, the system cannot effectively cool your home, and it can cause significant damage to the compressor.

Signs of Low Refrigerant:

Common indicators of low refrigerant include ice buildup on the evaporator coils, the system running constantly without effectively cooling, and higher energy bills.

Professional Handling:

Refrigerant issues should always be handled by a professional. If you suspect a leak or low levels, contact an HVAC technician to inspect and recharge the system as needed.

7. Attempting DIY Repairs Beyond Your Skill Level

The Risks of DIY Repairs:

While some maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners, attempting repairs beyond your skill level can be dangerous and costly. Incorrectly handling electrical components, refrigerant, or other system parts can lead to injury or further damage to the unit.

Common DIY Mistakes:

Examples include improperly cleaning components, damaging delicate parts, or incorrectly diagnosing issues. This can result in voiding warranties or causing expensive repairs.

When to Call a Professional:

If you’re unsure about a repair or maintenance task, it’s best to call a professional. HVAC technicians have the training and tools needed to safely and effectively maintain and repair air conditioning systems.


Keeping your air conditioner in good condition is vital for its efficiency, longevity, and performance. By avoiding these common mistakes—neglecting regular filter changes, ignoring the condenser coils, skipping professional maintenance, overlooking thermostat settings, blocking air vents, ignoring refrigerant levels, and attempting DIY repairs beyond your skill level—you can ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of your air conditioner but also improves indoor air quality and reduces energy bills, providing a comfortable and cost-effective cooling solution for your home.

For those in need of professional maintenance and repair services, consider AC Repair Spring TX | Air Condition & Heating Repair service from KAC Express. They offer expert HVAC services to ensure your air conditioning system operates at its best, providing reliable and efficient cooling for your home.




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