Emergency service needed? We're ready to help! Request Service


When to Service Your Air Conditioner (And How Often)

when to service your air conditioner and how often

This post was originally published on April 28th, 2016, and last updated on April 30th, 2022.

You take your car in for regular tune-ups to make sure it stays on the road. You hit the gym every so often to make sure you stay fit. Well, just like anything else, your air conditioning unit needs some regular attention too, especially before the hot summer months roll around. 

The best time of year to schedule air conditioner maintenance is during the spring. There are lots of reasons for this, which we’ll discuss in more detail below, but one of the main reasons is that you want to get your heating and cooling systems ready before those months in the year when you need them most.

Keep reading to learn when and how often you should have your air conditioner serviced, and get some helpful tips on scheduling servicing and maintenance.

How Long Does An AC Unit Last?

While there are a lot of factors that impact the lifespan of a home air conditioning system, in general, a good AC unit lasts between 10-15 years. Keep in mind that high-quality, regular care and maintenance almost always extend the life of your system.

How Often To Service Your Air Conditioner

It’s recommended that you service your home air conditioning system at least once every year. The same goes for your heating system. While it’s always a good idea to do some regular check-ins and cleaning throughout the year to make sure your system is running smoothly, a once-annual air conditioner service appointment is always essential.

Scheduling seasonal air conditioning maintenance will ensure you maximize your time, your dollar, and the life and safety of your AC system.

air conditioner service

When To Schedule Maintenance

So regular, annual servicing is necessary to keep your system running smoothly. But when’s the best time to schedule your air conditioner maintenance? 

As mentioned previously, spring is the best time of year to schedule air conditioner maintenance and HVAC repair. The weather is warm enough to run your cooling system without worry, and you have plenty of options in terms of scheduling a service appointment with an expert HVAC technician. Since the spring is our off-season, that’s when we often serve up savings. Make sure to check out our specials for up-to-date offers and information.

Why not winter?

In the Pacific Northwest, winter is not the best time for AC repairs. In fact, we don’t recommend running your air conditioner during the winter months at all. That’s because there’s oil in your AC unit and it may not work properly in cold temperatures. 

Even though the Pacific Northwest doesn’t get as cold as some other parts of the country, our winter temperatures are low enough that your AC won’t work optimally. In fact, you could even damage your system – which is what you’re trying to avoid in the first place. Skip your wintertime AC worries and focus on staying warm inside until spring.

Why not summer?

A lot of people assume that early summer is the best time to schedule AC maintenance. After all, you want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape for the hottest months of the year, right? Unfortunately, summer is the time when our schedules are the busiest, so you’ll have to compete for scheduling. That’s why it’s better to beat the rush with preventative maintenance well before any extreme weather hits to ensure you won’t have a summertime HVAC breakdown.

How Much Does It Cost to Service An Air Conditioner?

Whether you installed central air conditioning in your home or there was an existing heating and/or cooling system when you moved in, the cost of regular air conditioning repair and maintenance is absolutely worth it to avoid having an AC problem in the future. It will also help you avoid having to replace expensive components in your system — like an air compressor or evaporator coil.

Some HVAC experts charge a flat rate for standard air conditioner servicing, while others charge by the hour. Regular maintenance generally costs around $140-$220, while the average cost of air conditioner repair is about $300-$700.

Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning offers seasonal specials, which can save you money on maintenance and repairs. We also offer regular maintenance agreements that allow you to choose between several different plans. Each plan features Saturday service, scheduling reminders, and monthly payment options.

How Long Does HVAC Maintenance Take?

An annual or bi-annual HVAC maintenance appointment generally takes somewhere between 1-2 hours, although this can vary quite a bit depending on several factors. These factors include the type of AC you have, the size of your home, and the amount of time that has passed since your last tune-up. AC repair can take longer, depending on the type and extent of repair needed.

When Is the Best Time To Buy an Air Conditioner?

The best time to buy an air conditioner, in terms of cost, is simple: any time other than summer. Demand for AC units peaks during the summer months, and homeowners who plan ahead and buy an AC out-of-season almost always get to take advantage of savings. 

When is the best time to have AC Installed?

You can generally save money by purchasing AC equipment in the fall, winter, and spring. Keep in mind, however, that while AC units themselves may be less expensive in the winter, both the summer and the winter seasons are busy for HVAC system installers. In the winter, installers are busy working on heating systems. To get the best value, schedule your AC installation during the spring.

Plan Ahead & Stay Cool This Summer With Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning

Stay a step ahead of the summer heat and make sure you’re on top of AC maintenance. Find out more about the HVAC services we offer and then get in touch with any questions or schedule a consultation with our highly trained and skilled technicians at Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning.

About the Author

Amanda Jacobs portrait

Amanda Jacobs, Internal Project Manager

Amanda Jacobs is an Internal Projects Manager and 3rd generation member of Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning. She received her MBA from Seattle University and has worked for a leading HVAC training and consulting firm. When not talking HVAC on the Jacobs Blog, you can find her on the golf course or whipping up her famous vegan chili.