HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on buying your first home! You are certainly delighted with your investment, although you might feel overloaded by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, including the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics 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 in the winter and cool throughout 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 options.
    • Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
    • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
    • Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
    • Thermostat for indoor temperature control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, 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 comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re taking care of things, you can give 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.
    • Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to increase airflow.
    • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following perks when you call a professional to inspect your system once a year:

    • Energy savings
    • Fewer breakdowns
    • More affordable repair bills
    • Superior home comfort
    • Extended system life span
    • Peace of mind

Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Trouble

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

    • Excessive noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
    • Comfort or air quality trouble: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty odors are routinely associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
    • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
    • 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 about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

If a finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist’s help. Here’s how that works:

    • Explain the problem to the technician and let them explore it more in-depth.
    • The tech will identify the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair might be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
    • You can acquire various opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
    • 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 contractor will compose a written estimate outlining the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You should 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 technician will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
    • The sales consultant should walk through the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We emphasize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your home comfort system. Our team is proficient 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 about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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