Your home's central air conditioner will typically run for years without needing any major repairs, but how you operate and care for it will affect its overall longevity and condition. There are often a few things you can do to keep the air conditioner working as it should, and to help you avoid unnecessary or otherwise early repairs. Note a few of those here and discuss them with a repair person the next time you need to call one, if you still need more information.
Don't run it forever
Your home's central air conditioner works with a motor that runs the fan to push cool air through the home's vents, and that also runs coolant along the compressor to create that cold air. Like any motor, it can overheat when it's used for too long. Note if your air conditioner is cycling off every few minutes as it should, or if you have the temperature set so low that it runs almost continually. This might overheat the motor, so switch it off or adjust the temperature so it gets a break and can cool down between uses.
Clean the fan and inside
You may be hesitant to take apart your home's air conditioner, but note that the front plate or grill usually unscrews very easily. You can then access the fan and clean the blades as well as the inside of the grill or compressor. You might notice calcium and other such deposits on the inside of the unit and this can make it work harder to create cool air; dirty fan blades can also put excess wear and tear on the fan and other parts. Clean this area every year before summertime so the unit doesn't work as hard and will function optimally throughout the warm season.
Replace the fuses
Outside the air conditioner unit, there is a disconnect box; this may actually be attached to the side of your home where the unit's tubing and hoses run into the house. Inside the disconnect box are fuses that work as a backup in case your home's circuit breaker doesn't trip when needed. Replacing these fuses can ensure that your air conditioner won't get overloaded with power or work too hard on any given day, causing damage. You can typically replace these fuses yourself if you get the same type from the air conditioner's manufacturer; be sure the circuit breakers are turned off before you remove them, but putting in new ones every year will help protect your unit throughout the season.