Your home’s heating and air conditioning system is one of its most vital, delivering and removing warm or cool air from every room and maintaining humidity levels. It includes a great many moving parts and complex elements, which means it needs to be checked regularly.

Experts agree that you should have a qualified pro check your HVAC system twice a year: in spring and fall. The change of seasons generally means you can get your system looked at during the transition between heating to cooling, or vice versa, to ensure your system is ready to work during the months when you need it most.

An AC inspection will usually cost between $70 and $100. If you have a service contract with an HVAC company, it may already be included. An inspection and tuneup often improve the system’s energy efficiency, which can help it pay for itself and its maintenance in future savings on your electric bills.

Air conditioning maintenance should include checking the motor, blower, drain line, coils, operating pressures and temperatures, the return and supply lines, refrigerant levels and all connections. The inspection should address every part of the system, interior and exterior. This includes the duct work; even small breaks in the seals can create significant energy loss.

An inspector will usually also take a look at the part of your system that’s not going to be in use in the coming months. If you’re moving from a cold winter into the summer months, that check over of your heating system during an AC inspection could find red flags to address before they turn into real problems.

Most air conditioners should last at least 15 years with proper maintenance.


You can also take several simple steps on your own to maintain your units between inspections.

Take a look at your outside unit and make sure no objects or vegetation are getting in the way. If there are, clear them out so your unit has unblocked access to fresh air. Use a hose to spray off the coils at a 45-degree angle to remove debris in the fins.

The single best thing you can do for your HVAC systems is to keep your filter up to date. Check the manufacturer recommendations and set alerts on your calendar to make sure you’re replacing it regularly.

Paul F.P. Pogue writes about home-related topics for Angi.