HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on picking out your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, though you might feel weighed down by all the 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 utility equipment, including 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 a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for brand-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 probably 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 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 when it comes to air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
  • Indoor air quality equipment, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor climate control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, your landlord likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for thorough 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:

  • Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Gently hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.

Then, request annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced 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 advantages when you hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Enhanced 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 signs that it’s time to call a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excess 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 trouble: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy odors are regularly linked to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run just about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
  • The technician will next diagnose the problem and offer the best solutions. A repair may be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure multiple opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
  • When you work with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The tech should provide a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You might also get info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you pick what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant can review 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 & 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 HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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