There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a cooling system.
If you are not on it with cleaning and service, it can have a decreased lifespan and up your energy bills significantly.
How do you ensure the AC stays in proper shape? By cleaning, self maintaining and calling a HVAC contractor periodically. First, make sure that you replace the air filter monthly. The air filter protects against dirt, dust and hair. It gets clogged after a month and needs to be taken out. If not, all that dust gets into the system and can damage it. The HVAC has to work harder to power through all the dirt. It can overheat and break parts. It also doesn’t work as efficiently and ups the energy bills. An air filter isn’t that much money. Buying a new one is a small price to pay to stay away from AC repairs. Second, make sure the condensate drain doesn’t get blocked up with algae. Does your AC spit water or leak water? That means the drain isn’t working properly. Frequently I muck out my drain and everything goes back to normal. I also open up my system and check the cooling coil for mold. I don’t want to pollute indoor air quality or anything gross in my system. Once a year it is recommended to have a HVAC contractor come over to inspect the AC. He oils, lubricates, tight ends and checks parts for damage. The HVAC worker makes sure everything is working efficiently. A little care stops the AC from dying prematurely.