Central Air Conditioning Basics for Homeowners


Central Air Conditioning Basics for Homeowners

A central air conditioning system is a homeowner’s best friend during the hot months here in northern New Jersey. Some simple DIY maintenance will ensure your AC stays in good working condition. At this time of year, as we are busy making our spring maintenance appointments, we share these tips for helping your AC run at its best when you need it most.

1 – Clean the filters. This is key because so many people are still working from home. The typical run time for central air is 40% of the day, when people are working elsewhere (and therefore, turning up the temperature indoors so the system doesn’t kick on when no one is home). However, many systems are now running 100% of the time, meaning more time for filters to trap airborne particles. Clogged filters cause your air conditioner to work harder to pump out the cool air, uses more electricity to do so, and can shorten the system’s lifespan.

To clean the filters, shut off the power, remove the filters and—if your filters have metal frames—vacuum them (both sides) monthly. If the filters are really dirty, you can soak them in a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar (note: as with vacuuming, you can only soak clean filters that have metal frames which are water-friendly). At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, checking, cleaning and replacing filters as needed is part of our routine maintenance.

2 – Keep the condenser and compressor clean. As you’re cleaning up the yard, check on your outdoor air conditioning unit. Cut back plants that block it and clear away any debris in the condenser fins (again, turn off the power before you do any work. Hose down the external unit once a month after your preseason maintenance is done.

3 – Set up routine maintenance. A certified HVAC technician should check your central air conditioning and heating system twice a year. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, our technicians will do a thorough inspection of your external and internal air conditioning components and alert you of any issues that require immediate attention. Call us to set up your spring maintenance appointment at 973-237-0505.


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