HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on buying your first home! You are obviously delighted with your investment, although you may feel weighed down by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, like 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 more to learn. Get started with these HVAC system basics for brand-new homeowners.

Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important 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 options.
  • 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 like boilers.
  • Indoor air quality products, 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 a renter, the landlord likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re taking care of things, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained 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 call a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Smaller repair bills
  • Enhanced 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 signals that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excess noise: Don’t ignore a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home’s furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality issues: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like odors are regularly tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Explain the problem to the contractor and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
  • The technician should determine the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair might be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you prefer.
  • When you call 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 then provide a written estimate detailing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant should review the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, feel free]] to {reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make the best decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so give us a call for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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