Congrats on picking out your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, although you might feel overwhelmed 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, such as the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get started with these HVAC system basics for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Different Components of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm in 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 fixed 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 in the case of 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 climate control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you rented, 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 thorough heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re taking care of things, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system every year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Smaller repair bills
- Superior home comfort
- Expanded system life span
- Peace of mind
Watch for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these signs that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Excessive noise: Don’t ignore a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty odors are regularly associated with defective HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems eventually give out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If your defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how this works:
- Explain the problem to your technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
- The technician will next determine the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair may be viable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you want.
- When you call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The contractor should compose a written estimate outlining the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also receive information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the required documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, feel free to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We prioritize customer education to help you make the best decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.