A friend of mine from out of state just bought their first home air conditioning system this last week.  They were excited to share with me how much more comfortable their home is now and how cheap it would be to run every summer.  Excited for them, and being his “expert friend” in such areas, I asked what kind of maintenance plan they had said up for their new system.


“What do you mean, ‘maintenance plan’?”


Oh boy…

I had to explain to Dave that, just like cars, air conditioners need regular maintenance.   That, just like cars, your air conditioner will run less efficiently every year that goes by without a professional cleaning and tune-up.  And, that just like a car, it will break down prematurely if it doesn’t get that maintenance.

The look on his face went from irritated, to intrigued, to an odd form of relieved.

At first, he thought, “But I just spent all this money on it…”

But once he understood that an air conditioner is an investment that needs preventative maintenance (just like a vehicle), he was actually glad I had told him.


Especially when he learned that an annual cleaning will pay for itself through the increased efficiency of the unit.


Take, for example, this picture of an Air Conditioner’s condenser that one of our techs took this morning:

old air conditioner condenser

Air and moisture are supposed to flow through there easily.  But, when your cooling system hasn’t had preventative maintenance in over a decade, that’s what it will look like.

Just like a car, from the day your cooling system is installed, it will become less efficient with each and every minute it is running.

During a hot and especially humid summer like the one Rhinelander is having so far, it’s going to have a hard time earning it’s keep.  The extra wind and humidity will clog it up with mud and even mold.  Already this summer, e have found some systems that are running at less than 50% of the efficiency promised by the manufacturer.

But, should we be surprised?


Recently, my family and I completed a cross-country family and business related road trip.  We put a few thousand miles on our car in all sorts of climates.  At the beginning of the trip, our car got 39 MPG.  At the end, we were barely managing 27 MPG.  It was time for a tune-up.  And guess what?  After the tune-up, we were averaging 41 MPG.

It’s exactly the same for our home air conditioners.


How long has it been since you gave your Air Conditioner a Tune-Up?




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