HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on buying your first home! You are obviously delighted with your investment, even though you might feel overwhelmed by all these 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 experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system tips for first-time 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 probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool for 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 options.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
  • Indoor air quality products, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor comfort control.

Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, a landlord likely took care of 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 in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Gently hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.

Then, request 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 gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Improved 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 job. Watch for these signs that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Loud noise: Don’t dismiss a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can 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 moldy odors are regularly tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working right.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems inevitably give out. 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 the defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how it works:

  • Illustrate the problem to your technician and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
  • The professional will diagnose the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair could be doable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire various opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you so choose.
  • When you work with Levy & Son Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The technician should supply you with a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. The technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant will walk through the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the required documentation.

Call Levy & Son Service Experts

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to call Levy & Son Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is experienced in a wide range of HVAC services, so reach out for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to request an estimate, please call your local Levy & Son Service Experts office today.

 

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