Sooner or later, your air conditioning unit is likely to break down and need a repair, but here are many things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening. The following are four steps you can take throughout the year.

Don't use your AC unless you need to

Although this is obvious, people get used to having their air conditioning on even when it is a nice day outside. If the outdoor temperature is low enough, open up a couple of windows and allow a breeze to blow through your home. This reduces wear and tear on your AC unit and will also reduce your electric bill.

Make sure your AC unit is putting out cold air

One of the common issues with an AC unit is when it simply is not putting out enough cold air, and often the problem is a lack of Freon. This chemical is what helps create the cold produced by your AC unit, so when it is depleted, the AC will no longer be able to do its job, no matter how long it is running. An AC technician can charge the Freon in your AC unit and can help prevent a break down in the future.

Make sure your thermostat is working right

A properly functioning thermostat will shut off your AC unit when a predetermined temperature is reached. Of course, if the thermostat is not working, it may not shut off quickly enough, and you will need to turn it off manually. If you find that your AC is getting your home too cold before it shuts off, you may have an issue with your thermostat. It is best to call an AC technician to look at it to determine if that is the problem. A bad thermostat can make your AC work harder and create a premature breakdown.

Set your thermostat higher when you're not at home

By changing the setting a few degrees, your AC unit will not be working as hard. If you have pets at home, or simply live in a hot climate, it is probably best not to set it too high. But a temperature setting that will be a little uncomfortable for you if you were at home is usually the best setting. This way, the AC will be able to bring down the temperature you desire quickly after you arrive back home.

The above ideas can help reduce the chances of your AC unit breaking down, but perhaps the best idea of all is to make sure you call an AC technician like those found at All American Air & Electric, Inc. once a year to perform a tune-up on the system. Just like a car engine, your AC unit needs maintenance to keep it running in top condition and prevent breakdowns.