Congratulations on buying your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, although you may also feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and utilities, such as the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever come across 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 first-time homeowners.
Know the Different Components of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort systems, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few options.
- Ductwork fixed 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 solutions, like 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 rented, the landlord probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re in charge, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Change 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 sustain proper system balance.
Then, schedule 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 identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following perks when you hire a professional to inspect your system every year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Enhanced home comfort
- Expanded system life span
- Peace of mind
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these signs that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Excessive noise: Don’t ignore a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality trouble: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and mold-like odors are routinely linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run around a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:
- Describe the problem to the technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician will next diagnose the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair could be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
- When you call Peachtree Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The tech will compose a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also get information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
- The sales consultant should walk through the new system with you, detailing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the required documentation.
Call Peachtree Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to call Peachtree Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling 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 details or to ask for an estimate, please call your local Peachtree Service Experts office today.