In states with sweltering, hot summers, few things are more frustrating than having your air conditioning blow hot air when it is over 100˚ outside. Proper maintenance can prevent this.

Your air conditioning system is a sealed system. In closed systems, the only way you lose fluid, or in this case refrigerant, is when you have a leak in the system. Having the air conditioning evaluated and recharged about every three to five years is a good maintenance guideline, even if it seems to be working well.

The A/C system is critically dependent on oil carried throughout the system by the refrigerant. If you have a leak in the system, the oil may not circulate properly to protect those expensive A/C components. Just like running your engine without oil, running your A/C system without proper oiling will damage your A/C “engine,” (also known as the compressor). It is vital that you have the a/c system serviced as soon as possible any time you believe it is not cooling as well as it used to because in modern systems, there is very little refrigerant in comparison to older systems so a system that is only a little bit low on refrigerant can be damaged by low oil circulation.

Some compressors look like very small engines on the inside. They have some of the same components as your car’s engine—pistons, rings, rods and a crankshaft—only much smaller. Keeping the compressor well lubricated extends its longevity.

You should always have your A/C system serviced by an ASE Certified Technician. It’s just too risky to do it yourself. Keeping your air conditioning system serviced when necessary is a great way to save money and stay cool in the heat of summer.

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