Well done on purchasing your first home! You are certainly pleased with your investment, even though you may also feel overloaded by all your 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 utilities, 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. Try these HVAC system tips for new homeowners.
Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in the perfect climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the basic 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 connected to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
- Indoor air quality solutions, such as 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 a renter, your landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re in charge, you can give 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 improve airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, request yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you get a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Enhanced home comfort
- Longer 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 hire a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like smells are often tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems ultimately fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a damaged 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:
- Illustrate the problem to your technician and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician will determine the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair might be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain multiple opinions and estimates from available contractors if you prefer.
- When you call Comfortech Service Experts , 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 detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. The technician will complete everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant will review the new system with you, explaining how to use it, addressing any questions and offering all the needed documentation.
Call Comfortech Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don't wait to reach out to Comfortech Service Experts . We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling 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 details or to ask about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Comfortech Service Experts office today.