In a perfect world, we’d be able to turn on our central air or heat and it would do exactly what it was designed to do–run at the temperature we want, at all times. Most of the time central heating and cooling units work properly, but it can be hard to tell when things aren’t running as efficiently as they should. It’s easy if you think of your HVAC system like you would your car; they both have motors and run off of energy, and both need regular maintenance to perform effectively.
Central Air Maintenance
With proper upkeep, a new air conditioning unit should last up to 15 years or more. With central and window units, it’s vital to have regular checkups, and to perform regular maintenance. Below are some tips that will keep your unit working as it should.
Check to make sure that your unit isn’t leaking, and it’s draining properly. If too much water is in the system, or too much is escaping, your AC isn’t running properly. Your air conditioning technician can check hoses and connections for cracks and leaks, and for blockages in the condensate tube.
Change the filter once per month.
Clean the outside compressor with water, and keep the compressor unobstructed for free air flow.
Get your ductwork cleaned every three or four years. You’ll breathe easier, and your home will be less dusty.
If you are doubting the effectiveness or efficiency of your AC unit, you should have it professionally inspected by a licensed contractor. Using fans, you can quickly circulate cool air, helping your unit run more efficiently. Keep vents clear so that air can flow freely, and ventilate your attic, which can cut heating/cooling costs by about 10%.
If possible, wait until the coolest part of the day (early morning or late evening) to run your dryer or dishwasher. These appliances are useful, but they put out a great deal of heat, raising your home’s temperature. In the wintertime, run them during the day to help warm your home without putting undue stress on your HVAC Cincinnati unit.