HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on picking out your first home! You are undoubtedly thrilled with your investment, though you may also feel weighed down by all your 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, including the heating and cooling equipment.

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

Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool in 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 choices.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as 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 temperature control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were a renter, the landlord likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.

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

Then, schedule annual 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 benefits when you call a professional to inspect your system every year:

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

Look Out for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these clues that it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and musty smells are often tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the technician and permit them to investigate it more in-depth.
  • The technician will next diagnose the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair could be viable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire various opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
  • When you contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The tech will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. The technician will handle everything, even hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant can walk through the new system with you, explaining how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, don't wait to get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a wide range of HVAC services, so turn to us for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to request an estimate, please call your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.

 

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