HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, even though you might feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, including 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 a lot to learn. Get started with these HVAC system suggestions for new homeowners.

Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the important 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 options.
  • Ductwork attached to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
  • Indoor air quality solutions, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor temperature control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, a landlord most likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as 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.
  • Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.

Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform 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 hire a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Expanded 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 contractor:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality issues: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and musty smells are often tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably give out. 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 specialist's help. Here’s how it works:

  • Explain the problem to your technician and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
  • The technician will determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair may be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
  • When you contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The contractor will then provide a written estimate describing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you pick what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant will review the new system with you, detailing how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the required documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

If you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is experienced in a wide 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 office today.

 

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