HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on purchasing your first home! You are obviously delighted with your investment, although you may feel weighed down by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the 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 come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system tips for 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 probably has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort equipment, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few possibilities.
  • Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as 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.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, a landlord probably managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re responsible for this, you can provide 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 pare back vegetation to improve airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.

Then, request annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Expanded 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 hire a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t ignore a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy odors are regularly associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the contractor and let them explore it more in-depth.
  • The professional will diagnose the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair might be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure various opinions and estimates from different contractors if you prefer.
  • When you contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The tech will compose a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also receive info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will complete everything, including hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, detailing how to use it, answering any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t hesitate Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We emphasize customer education to help you make the best decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to ask for an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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