As with any machine, your air conditioner requires regular maintenance. It is important to clean your air conditioner regularly.
The air conditioner has many parts like filters, coils, fins, etc. While it is easy to forget about the maintenance of this machine, over a period of time dust and humidity settle on these parts. The effect is that the performance of the machine declines over time. On the other hand, the lower performance also leads to higher energy consumption. Given some time, such conditions will reduce your unit's life and cost you.
It is possible to do some basic cleaning regularly. You can unclog pipes and filters which are steps normally included in the manual. It would be advisable to also hire professionals on a periodic basis to check for refrigerant amounts or any possible leaks. They will also measure airflow, inspect terminals and check oil motors.
If you put a little effort, then taking into account the cost of the air conditioner, your investment will be repaid in full.