HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on purchasing your first home! You are certainly delighted with your investment, although you might feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utilities, such as 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. Try these HVAC system suggestions 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 throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few options.
  • 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 equipment, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor comfort control.

Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, your landlord most likely 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 responsible for this, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

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

Then, arrange yearly 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. Count on the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Enhanced home comfort
  • Extended system life span
  • Peace of mind

Watch for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:

  • Loud noise: Don’t neglect a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy odors are routinely linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems eventually give out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Explain the problem to your technician and allow them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The professional should diagnose the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair could be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can obtain various opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
  • When you call Epperson Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The technician should provide a written estimate outlining the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. 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 handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant can go over the new system with you, detailing how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the needed documentation.

Call Epperson Service Experts

If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, feel free to call Epperson Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced 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 details or to request an estimate, please call your local Epperson Service Experts office today.

 

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