If you have just moved in a home with a central HVAC system or you have just had a system installed, you need to learn your way around this type of system to make sure you keep it running and working efficiently. The first thing you want to realize is there are inside components and outside components. While the system won't require a lot of hands-on maintenance from you, there is still some maintenance you'll need to do both to the inside and outside elements. Here is some information to help you navigate your way around central heating and air conditioning.
Interior HVAC maintenance
The interior portion of your central HVAC system includes the thermostat, the ducts, the vents, and the air filter. Unless you spot troubles with any of these elements, such as a leak in the ductwork, you really only have to worry about the air filter and the thermostat. The air filter needs to be clean and the thermostat needs to be set to the temperature you want. Also, don't have anything placed where the items will be in front of the vents, or the obstruction will cause the air to not leave the way it is supposed to. This can be a bit more challenging when your vents are on the floor or along the bottom parts of the walls because you will need to arrange the furniture to accommodate them.
Exterior HVAC maintenance
You will see a compressor outside of your home. In most cases, it will be right next to one of the home's exterior walls either on the side of the house or in the back of the house. The area right around this unit should be kept weeded. If the unit isn't already on a concrete pad, consider having one installed under the unit to keep it level and prevent it from slowly sinking into the ground. You will see vents in the sides of the cover, dust these off as you notice dirt and even cobwebs getting on them. The fins of the outside compressor can easily bend and become closed against one another. If they are bent, you can carefully pry them open with a butter knife. If they are seriously bent, you may want a technician to take care of it.
The most important thing for you to realize is just how crucial it is for you to call a professional to come to your home to look at anything that you wonder about to know repairs are being done that should be. Look for a local AC service.