HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on buying your first home! You are no doubt pleased with your investment, though 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 utility equipment, including the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have more to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions for first-time 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 most likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool throughout 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 options.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems like 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 likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid 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:

  • Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Gently hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, request 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 measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following benefits when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable 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 responsibility. Watch for these signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:

  • Excess noise: Don’t ignore a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your home’s furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality issues: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and mold-like odors are routinely tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning 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 can live around a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Describe the problem to the technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The professional will determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair may be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you want.
  • When you contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The tech will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work needed, 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 after you pick what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, describing 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 basics, feel free]] to {reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a full range of HVAC services, so give us a call for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to request an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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