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A-1 Mechanical Blog

How to Prevent Air Conditioner Damage to Save Money

Air Conditioning

A quality air conditioning unit lasts for more than a decade. Air conditioning provides an oasis from the extreme heat of summer. Providing both comfort and security for your family is important. Your HVAC system is an expensive investment so it’s critical to know how to prevent air conditioner damage. Wear and tear over time results in high energy bills, and expensive air conditioner repairs may even result in premature air conditioning replacement in the future.

There are many factors that can damage your air conditioner. Both the summer sun and the frigid winters can weather your AC unit. Your HVAC unit has many moving parts which mean neglecting the air conditioner can lead to damage. A dirty HVAC system that frequently breaks down is also more prone to require replacement. A-1 Mechanical stresses the importance of properly maintaining your air conditioner to get the most out of your HVAC system.

5 Steps to Prevent Air Conditioner Damage

There are a number of key tips on how to prevent air conditioner damage and save money every month and for the lifetime of your equipment. As a local Lansing, Michigan HVAC contractor A-1 Mechanical provides our extensive experience and knowledge to help you save money. For many homeowners your HVAC system can benefit from following these steps:

Protect Your AC Unit with a Cover

When the AC unit is dormant in the late fall and winter, a protective cover prevents elements like rain, snow, leaves, and dirt from directly damaging your AC system. As we transition into warmer weather in Lansing and Grand Rapids, people seek comfort from their air conditioning units to keep them cool. Of course, you must remember to protect your unit with a cover in the fall and remove the cover from the AC unit before turning on the air conditioner.

A cover helps prevent air conditioner damage when used properly. A common mistake is to turn your air conditioning on while covered, which causes the unit to overheat quickly. This usually becomes a costly mistake if parts are ruined due to overheating. In some cases, the damage requires an air conditioning system replacement.

Inspect Furnace Filter Monthly

One of the easiest ways we know how to prevent air conditioner damage is to check your HVAC unit’s air filter every month. A dirty air filter chokes the components within the air handler and ductwork. This causes airflow to be restricted. Many furnace repairs can be linked to a dirty filter. A clean air filter helps your AC unit remain energy efficient and improves your indoor air quality.

This is simple air conditioner maintenance you can do yourself. When the filter is clogged, your system works harder to push air through it to heat or cool your home. This strains the system and ages it faster. It also requires more energy which increases your utility bills. Finally, it speeds up the path to increased repairs and even breakdowns. When you look at your air filter, first take note of any dirt or dust collected in the filter. If there is a significant amount, replace it with a new filter. Since air filters help to reduce energy costs, many homeowners choose to replace air filters monthly.

When purchasing a new furnace filter, each manufacturer recommends a compatible filter. There are many filters in the marketplace that make many claims. Always defer to the manufacturer of your HVAC system. Making sure you get the right filter type as well as a filter with the right dimensions ad type. Different types of furnace filters include fiberglass, pleated, and media. The wrong air filter can damage your air handler and air conditioner. By trusting the manufacturer your air conditioning runs properly, reduces energy bills, and prevents breakdowns.

Regularly replacing your furnace filter with the proper filter maintains the energy efficiency of the HVAC system and prevents excess wear and tear.

Clean The Outdoor Unit

Outdoor AC compressors lose airflow and thus, energy efficiency when leaves, dirt, dust and other debris collect on it. There are many sources of airborne debris that can clog your system and impact compressors. This is because the clogged air conditioner vents can’t circulate air efficiently. This, similar to a dirty air filter, causes the unit to work harder to produce the same cooling results. Cleaning restrictions from around the unit is a simple chore to perform weekly as part of your yard work. Clean systems produce cold air more efficiently and save energy.

Airborne debris also settles on air conditioner coils. Dirty air conditioner coils create an insulating effect. This makes it hard for the unit to vent the heat from your home to the outdoors. This increases cooling costs and impacts the comfort throughout your entire house.

Anytime you are in your backyard and especially after severe storms, make a quick check around your AC compressor. Specifically, pay attention during the spring storm season and during the autumn months when leaves are falling. Beware of ice on your AC unit and after the snow melts.

Inside your home keeping the area around your air handler is also important. You should think of your entire system as benefiting from steady airflow that is clean. Air will never be completely free of particulate but the cleaner you keep the area around your equipment, inside your system, and within your home, the better performance and indoor air quality.

Install Smart Thermostat

You’re probably already aware of the benefits of programmable thermostats and home automation systems, but there are certain things to keep in mind. For example, if you set your thermostat too low, you may decrease the lifespan of your AC unit through overuse. Each degree can save energy.

Programmable thermostats are helpful when you have a set work schedule. Programming your thermostat to use less energy is powerful. Using your air conditioning when you are not home is a waste of money. For many homeowners and busy families your life is not set by a work schedule, though.

Smart thermostats save on air conditioning bills by adapting to your actual activity. The smart thermostat adjusts your AC unit to respond when you leave your home. The less your air conditioner works the longer it lasts.

Schedule Annual Air Conditioner Maintenance

The final piece of advice on how to prevent air conditioner damage is to schedule preventive air conditioner maintenance. While these other steps are important DIY steps, professional HVAC maintenance is valuable for saving energy. Calibrating your system with professional HVAC professionals each spring assures your system maintains warranty and prevents surprise breakdowns.

Each brand of air conditioner requires unique steps. Professional HVAC technicians at A-1 Mechanical follow manufacturer guidelines and perform our thorough processes. Our experience and training guide our vision for helping homeowners achieve better performance and prevent air conditioner damage.

With a regular maintenance plan with a licensed heating and air company, you catch minor air conditioner problems before it needs more expensive repairs. This saves you money and avoids the expense and inconvenience of an unexpected major air conditioner repair later. Clean AC units with clean and well-functioning components cost less to operate. Our team also helps to verify ventilation is working properly and thermostats are optimized to save money.

If you do experience issues contact our team as soon as possible. A-1 Mechanical has experience with all types of repairs from the fan not spinning to complete breakdowns.


If you are interested in our residential air conditioner repair service or a maintenance tune up, please contact our team. We help reduce air conditioner bills and protect you against damage.

A-1 Mechanical is dedicated to helping customers just like you keep their air conditioning units in optimal running condition.

We bring heating and air service, repair, and installation to Lansing communities such as Haslett, Williamston, Dimondale, Eaton Rapids, Charlotte and Grand Ledge.

You’ll also find us in the Grand Rapids area, including Byron Center, Grandville, Jenison, Kentwood, Plainfield, Walker, Cutlerville, Wyoming, Comstock, Park and East Grand Rapids.

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