Living in Jacksonville, Florida, the air conditioner runs for most of the year. Temperatures in the triple digits and an excess of humidity make the cooling system a necessity. The equipment carries a heavy workload and accounts for the majority of the electric bill. I take very good care of my central air conditioning. I make sure to replace the filter every six weeks and schedule professional maintenance from a licensed professional every spring. The technician troubleshoots and cleans all of the components. They replace any broken parts, tighten wires, test the refrigerant and calibrate the thermostat. This service fulfills the manufacturer’s warranty and ensures the efficiency and maximum lifespan of the unit. Last summer, I was surprised when the air conditioner struggled to keep the house cool. There was a significant amount of dust circulating and an unpleasant musty smell. Certain rooms felt overheated and sticky. I noticed that the air conditioner was running just about 24/7 and my utility bills were sky-high. When I scheduled air conditioner repair, the technician inspected the unit and then tested the ductwork. He found small holes and leaks at the seams of the duct system and estimated that approximately thirty percent of the conditioner air was escaping. Fortunately, the HVAC contractor includes duct sealing capabilities. They completed the repair quickly and effectively. Once the ductwork was operating at max capacity, the air conditioner was restored to peak performance. From now on, I will make sure to have the duct system tested every couple of years. I hope to minimize stress on the air conditioner to extend its service life and protect its value.