HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on buying your first home! You are obviously delighted with your investment, even though you may also feel overloaded 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 utilities, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get started with these HVAC system tips for new homeowners.

Know the Parts of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic 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 equipment, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
    • Ductwork attached to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
    • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
    • Indoor air quality solutions, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
    • Thermostat for indoor temperature control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were a renter, a landlord most likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re responsible for this, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

    • Replace 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 sustain proper system balance.

Then, request yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following benefits when you hire a professional to inspect your system every year:

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

Look Out for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these signals that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling specialist:

    • Loud noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
    • Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like smells are routinely linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
    • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
    • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately 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 a damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:

    • Describe the problem to your technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
    • The technician will determine the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair may be viable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
    • You can obtain 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 review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
    • The tech should compose a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You may also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
    • Schedule the installation once you pick what system you want. The technician will handle everything, even hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
    • The sales consultant will go over 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 basics, don’t hesitate Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We emphasize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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