HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on picking out your first home! You are certainly pleased with your investment, although you might feel weighed down by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and systems, including the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Get started with these HVAC system suggestions for new homeowners.

Know the Parts of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key 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 possibilities.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems like 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 temperature control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, the landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re taking care of things, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete 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 improve airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, schedule 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 identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following perks when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Smaller 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 clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:

  • Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a screeching, 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, stagnant rooms and mold-like odors are regularly linked to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run around a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Describe the problem to the contractor and permit them to investigate it more in-depth.
  • The technician should diagnose the problem and suggest the best solutions. A repair may be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure multiple opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
  • When you work with Comfort Masters Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The tech will then provide a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You should also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you pick what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, including hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant will review the new system with you, detailing how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the needed documentation.

Call Comfort Masters Service Experts

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to call Comfort Masters Service Experts. We emphasize customer education to help you make the best decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient 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 information or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Comfort Masters Service Experts office today.

 

chat now widget box