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What to Look For in Air Conditioning Maintenance

As we are all well aware, summer is in full swing here in Southern California. We are currently getting plenty of calls regarding air conditioning systems not working. We thought we'd quickly go over some tips for what needs to be done when servicing your air conditioning system as well as what to look for in a professional that you hire. We recommend servicing your air conditioning system once a year in order to avoid the catastrophic problem that seems to always arrive on the hottest day of the summer. Get your a/c tuned up early, and regularly!

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system's efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil's heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15%.


The air conditioner's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, your evaporator coil should be checked every year and cleaned, as necessary.


Condensate drains should be checked regularly to avoid cloggin. If a condensate line becomes clogged, it could cause a unit from reducing humidity, and the resulting excess moisture may discolor walls or carpet.


When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.

The technician should:

  • Check for correct amount of refrigerant

  • Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector

  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere

  • Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems

  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil

  • Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously

  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary

  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear

  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat.

If you have any further questions or qould like to schedule a service call to have your system serviced, please call our office today at 949-858-3818!

Santa Margarita Plumbing, Heating & Air is pleased to serve the communities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Robinson Ranch, Foothill Ranch and Rancho Cielo.

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