HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, even though you may feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and systems, like the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system tips for 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 most likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, such as 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 when it comes to air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of 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 were a renter, a landlord likely handled 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 responsible for this, 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.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Superior 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 signals that it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy smells are often tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly increasing? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately give out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last just about a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If the defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how it works:
- Explain the problem to your technician and let them explore it more in-depth.
- The professional will diagnose the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair might be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you prefer.
- When you call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The contractor should provide a written estimate detailing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You may also get info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your technician will handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
- The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the necessary documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air ConditioningIf you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t hesitate to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We emphasize customer education to help you make the best decision about your HVAC 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 info or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.