HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on picking out your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, even though you may feel overloaded by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utilities, like the heating and cooling equipment.

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

Know the Parts of an HVAC System

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

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

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, your landlord likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, request annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following benefits when you call a professional to inspect your system every year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Longer 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 signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:

  • Loud noise: Don’t dismiss 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 trouble: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and musty smells are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually give out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Explain the problem to the technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The technician should determine the problem and recommend available solutions. A repair might be feasible, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
  • When you call 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 technician will supply you with a written estimate detailing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant should review the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the required documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t wait Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your home comfort system. Our team is proficient in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to request an estimate, please call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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