HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on picking out your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, though you may also feel overloaded by all these 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, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start 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 most likely has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, 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 solutions, including 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 renting your home, the landlord likely handled any 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 taking care of things, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to enhance 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 identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system every year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Superior 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 clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Loud noise: Don’t ignore a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy odors are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems eventually give out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the technician and let them explore it more in-depth.
  • The tech should identify the problem and recommend available solutions. A repair might be doable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you prefer.
  • When you work with 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 should supply you with a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also get information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant will walk through 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 questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t hesitate to call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient 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 info or to ask about an estimate, please call your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.

 

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