HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Well done on picking out your first home! You are no doubt thrilled with your investment, even though you may also feel overloaded by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain 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 basics for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Parts 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 during the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, such as 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 in the case of boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor comfort control.
Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you rented, the landlord likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like 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 offer 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 enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Improved home comfort
- Longer 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 signals that it’s time to call 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 trouble: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like odors are routinely associated with defective HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live around a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional’s help. Here’s how this works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech will diagnose the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair may be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you want.
- When you work with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The technician will supply you with a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also receive information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you pick what system you want. The technician will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant can go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, answering 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 emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient in a wide range of HVAC services, so reach out for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
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