HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on buying your first home! You are undoubtedly delighted with your investment, even though you may feel weighed down by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and systems, like 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 tips for brand-new homeowners.

Know the Parts of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the key 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 possibilities.
  • Ductwork fixed 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 solutions, like 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 were a renter, a landlord most likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to improve airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, arrange 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 measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following benefits when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:

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

Watch for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t dismiss a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality issues: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like odors are regularly associated with defective HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

If a damaged 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 your technician and allow them to investigate it more in-depth.
  • The tech will determine the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair could be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you prefer.
  • When you call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The tech should compose a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You may also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your technician will handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant can review the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the necessary documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, don’t wait Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make the best decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient 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 get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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