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Atlantic Air Systems Blog

What Happens if You Don’t Get AC Maintenance?


You may have heard that your air conditioner will perform better and last longer if you remember to change the air filter frequently and have professional maintenance once a year. But is it actually critical to have maintenance done? What will happen to your air conditioner if you don’t have AC maintenance done each year? We’ll tell you all about it.


Air conditioners have a variety of moving parts including fans and the motors that power them. When components of an appliance move, they rub together, creating friction. The more friction there is, the harder the appliance must work to keep the parts moving. If you don’t get AC maintenance, the amount of friction will keep increasing and increasing.

There are two reasons for this. One is that maintenance involves cleaning, without which your air conditioner will end up with bits of grit and grime in between the moving parts. The other is that your maintenance tech applies lubricant each year. Once that wears away, components will grind and scrape against one another instead of sliding easily.


In addition to simply raising the risk of a component breaking, friction does something else: it creates heat. Think of rubbing your hands together to warm them, or rubbing sticks together to create a spark and start a fire. And because your air conditioner hasn’t been cleaned, there’s a blanket of dust insulating those components and keeping the heat in, where it builds and builds.

That heat can cause all sorts of problems. If it gets hot enough, the wires inside the motor can actually fuse together! If that happens, your motor will have to be completely replaced. Often, the building heat will trip the limit switch, a safety mechanism that shuts the system down. Once the heat starts to dissipate, the system will start up again—only to be shut down again almost immediately.

Compressor Damage

All of these issues will ultimately cause one very big problem: strain on the compressor. This is the vital component that pressurizes the refrigerant. Without it, the refrigerant wouldn’t flow, and the air conditioner wouldn’t do anything but blow air like a fan. The compressor is also very costly. It’s usually a better choice to simply replace the whole AC system than to get a new compressor.

Friction forces the system to work harder than it should. Overheating causes the air conditioner to be less effective, meaning it will have to run more of the time. And if it starts shutting down and coming on again too frequently, that’s even worse! The startup is the part of the cycle that strains the compressor the most, so it really should not be done several times as often.


Finally, all these factors will contribute to inefficiency. Struggling to work, running more of the time, and starting up more and more often will use far more energy than the air conditioner should. This will rapidly lead to alarmingly high electric bills. Don’t pay for more than you should! Schedule air conditioning maintenance in Toms River, NJ before this happens to you.

You’re More Comfortable With Atlantic Air Systems. Schedule your appointment with us today.

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