Preventive maintenance is an important part of the life cycle of most industrial and residential air conditioning and cooling systems. It’s good to know that preventive maintenance is the same as preventative maintenance, and while the former is generally accepted as the “most” correct option, both are used commonly and interchangeably. This type of regular maintenance is performed on most tools, machines, vehicles and even computers, but is perhaps most valuable when applied to air conditioners.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is routine work that is often scheduled at regular intervals to increase the performance, efficiency and life of equipment and machines. For large buildings like warehouses and refrigeration companies, scheduling preventive maintenance is a mammoth undertaking. Most small businesses and homeowners, however, usually have no problems routinely maintaining air conditioning units with the help of a qualified local HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) technician.

This type of maintenance is especially beneficial for air conditioning units, as annual maintenance is recommended for most conditioners. Performing these tasks ensures parts of the unit are functioning – and will continue to function – smoothly and properly. A routine preventive maintenance checklist will also include checking fans, motors and electrical connections. These small, relatively inexpensive and simple tasks significantly extend the life of an air conditioner while drastically reducing the potential for future equipment breakdowns.

One of the most important aspects of maintenance for an air conditioner involves checking and replacing filters as necessary. The location, size and type of filter can vary from system to system, but clean filters allow a unit to operate more efficiently without pumping potential particles, pollutants or pollens into a building or residence from the outdoors.

When is the Best Time to Perform Preventive Maintenance?

In large-scale operations or companies that have complicated conditioning systems, licensed and certified HVAC technicians are employed in-house or contracted out to schedule and perform preventive and corrective maintenance. For smaller residential units, most maintenance is completed by a local company or technician.

The time to perform routine maintenance varies from location to location and unit to unit, but the technicians mentioned above are often very familiar with the local nuances of weather, seasons and equipment. Most systems are maintained before the hottest time of the year and sometimes after, as well.

By following the advice of manufacturers and HVAC professionals, it is possible to extend the life and increase the productivity of commercial and residential air conditioning and cooling systems. Performing routine preventive maintenance is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to prevent major equipment malfunctions and failures.