Central Air Conditioning 101

With the Greater Sacramento area having a dry-summer subtropical climate, it is not surprising that around 60% of households use air conditioning units, especially during the hottest season, which is between June and September.


What Is Central Air Conditioning? 

Central air conditioning systems use ductwork to distribute cool air throughout the house, unlike the window ACs that do not require ducts because every component is placed in a single unit. 


How Does Central Air Conditioning Work? 

A central air unit blows cool air through its registers, i.e., openings in the walls or ceilings with covered grills. 

It has a cooling compressor set outside the home and a fan unit that blows cool air throughout the house. Meanwhile, the condensing coil consists of a compressor, a grill, a condenser fan, an evaporator coil, and a case to protect all the components from outside elements. 

The compressor coil has a refrigerant or freon that cools the air as the fan blows through the evaporator coil. Once the coil absorbs the heat from the air, the refrigerant flows back to the condenser coil and returns to its original liquid form as it is cooled before repeating the cycle all over again. 

The central air unit can create a cool environment evenly by using the existing cooling and heating ducts throughout the house. 


Benefits of Central Air Conditioning System

While the upfront cost of a central air conditioning system is higher than a window AC unit’s, its price is worth it because of the benefits explained below. 

  • Central AC is more efficient when it comes to air filtration compared to the window AC, making this ideal if you have asthma and other allergies. 
  • It can help reduce the humidity in the air. Nonetheless, if your home has extreme humidity levels you may need a dehumidifier to better address the problem. 
  • It ensures an even temperature. Compared to window AC that may not reach some warm spots, central AC is better at circulating the air in the room, resulting in a more even temperature. 
  • It can cool the entire house, whereas a window AC can only cool the room where it is installed. 
  • Bulky window AC units stick out like a sore thumb, whereas the central air conditioner systems are well-hidden. 


Energy Saving Tips 

If you live in a hot-humid region, chances are your AC accounts for a considerable chunk of your electricity bill. In fact, a 2015 survey released by the Energy Information Administration showed that cooling systems on average made up 27% of home energy consumption in regions that experience extreme temperature during the summer. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune during the summer months to enjoy a comfortable environment. 

  • Use an Intelligent Thermostat. 

Intelligent thermostats can automatically regulate the temperature, allowing homeowners to lower their energy consumption and maintain a comfortable temperature. Most of them also come with apps that will allow you to control your central AC on your mobile phone. 

Surveys have shown that with the use of smart thermostats, homeowners can reduce their cooling bill by around 10%. 

  • Complement your AC with a ceiling fan. 

You can maintain a comfortable temperature without having your AC on full blast. By installing a ceiling fan that uses only a fraction of the AC’s energy requirement, you can make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler thanks to its wind-chill effect. 

  • Caulk and weatherstrip your windows and doors. 

When air leaks in and out of your home through cracks and crevices around doors and windows, your heating and cooling system works more than necessary, which can spell disaster to your energy bill. 

To further make your home energy-efficient, you can apply window films that block up to 78% of the solar heat without affecting the amount of light passing through a window. 


Regular Maintenance and Cleaning 

To keep the central AC unit working properly and prevent high energy cost, regular maintenance is required. This generally includes replacing the air filters, keeping the components clean, and oiling the fan motor. 

It might be tempting to clean your central AC unit yourself to save money, but you have to realize that it may not be as easy as DIY cleaning a window unit. First and foremost, there is a possibility that you might damage some components if you aren’t careful. 

Take note that one of the biggest mistakes of DIY AC cleaning is using products that are known to corrode metals. Another common error is the use of high water pressure, which can damage the condenser and fins. 

During DIY cleaning, it is also possible to have some spilled chemicals and fumes that need to be removed from your house to prevent health hazards. 

For the above-mentioned reasons, some AC maintenance work is better left to HVAC professionals. 

Aside from cleaning, central AC maintenance should also include the following: 

  • Oil the fan motor ideally every season.
  •  Replace disposable air filters every 1-3 months or 6-12 months if you use thicker and more efficient filters. 


If you need central AC maintenance, inspection, and installation, contact All Year, Inc. at 916-922-7796 or you can schedule an appointment or ask for free estimates by clicking here.

For more than 45 years, this licensed HVAC service provider has been serving commercial establishments and homeowners in Elk Grove, Antelope, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Gold River, Granite Bay, Grass Valley, Lincoln, and other nearby areas.