The hot temperatures of summer can put a ton of stress on your home's air conditioner, which is exactly when you want it to be working to make your home feel tolerable inside. Thankfully, maintenance is the key to keep the system running when it's under a lot of stress. Here are three things you can do to maintain the air conditioner.

Change The Filter

The easiest thing you can do to contribute to maintaining an air conditioner is to change the air filter regularly. Keep in mind that there are different types of air filters, and some may only need to be swapped once a year while others should be replaced monthly. Make sure to read your owner's manual to understand how frequently filter changes are needed.

By changing the filter, the air conditioner won't work nearly as hard to cool down your home. The filter will provide less resistance to air that passes through it, meaning that your home cools down faster and the air conditioner can take a rest earlier than it otherwise would. Filter changes will help you increase the lifespan of the air conditioner as well.

Clean The Compressor

Another part of the air conditioner that gets overlooked is the compressor found outside your home. It works by pumping the refrigerant through the system, where it absorbs the heat in your home and turns into a gas before traveling outside where the heat is released. This unit can get very hot, which is why the fans will work hard to cool down the unit while it is running. Any obstructions in the fins that surround the unit can contribute to overheating and premature failure of the unit.

You can clean the condenser by removing debris that surrounds the unit. It may also help to take the protective cover off the condenser so that you can remove debris that has fallen inside it.

Repair Refrigerant Leaks

The refrigerant in the air conditioner is in a closed system, meaning that refrigerant won't be able to leave the system unless there is a leak somewhere in the refrigerant line. When this happens, ice can form on the condenser coils, and air will actually start to feel warm because there is not enough refrigerant to remove the heat from the air. You'll need to reach out to an air conditioning maintenance contractor to locate the leak, repair it, and fill up the system with more refrigerant.