HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are undoubtedly delighted with your investment, even though you might feel overloaded by all your 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, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for brand-new homeowners.

Know the Parts of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in the perfect climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool for 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 choices.
  • Ductwork attached to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
  • Indoor air quality products, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor temperature control.

Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, your landlord most likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize 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 increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following benefits when you hire a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Superior 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 call a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality issues: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and musty odors are often associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly going up? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live just about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the contractor and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
  • The technician will next determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair might be viable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you want.
  • When you work with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The tech will then compose a written estimate detailing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation once you pick what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant will review the new system with you, detailing how to use it, answering any questions and providing all the necessary documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your home comfort system. Our team is well-versed in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.

 

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