HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are undoubtedly pleased with your investment, even though you may also feel weighed down by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and systems, like 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 a lot to learn. Get started with these HVAC system suggestions for first-time homeowners.

Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in the perfect 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 units, such as 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 when it comes to air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of 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 climate control.

Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, your landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled 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, complete 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 preserve proper system balance.

Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can complete 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 hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Improved 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 signs that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and musty smells are routinely tied to defective HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems eventually give out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last just about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the contractor and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
  • The professional should determine the problem and suggest the best solutions. A repair could be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
  • You can obtain multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
  • When you work with 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 technician will then provide a written estimate describing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You may also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you pick what system you want. The technician will handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant will review the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t wait 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 info or to request an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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