HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on buying your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, even though you might feel weighed down by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, like the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system tips for brand-new homeowners.

Know the Different Components of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in the perfect climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
  • Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
  • Indoor air quality equipment, such as an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor climate control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, a landlord most likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re taking care of things, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, request yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system every year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Smaller repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Extended system life span
  • Peace of mind

Watch for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these signs that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling professional:

  • Loud noise: Don’t ignore a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home’s furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy odors are often tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run just about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

If a damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional’s help. Here’s how that works:

  • Illustrate the problem to your technician and permit them to investigate it more in-depth.
  • The tech will next determine the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair may be viable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire various opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you so choose.
  • When you contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The tech should provide a written estimate describing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You may also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation once you figure out what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant can review the new system with you, describing how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We emphasize customer education to help you make the best decision about your home comfort system. Our team is experienced in a full range of HVAC services, so give us a call for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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