HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on picking out your first home! You are undoubtedly delighted with your investment, even though you might feel overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re a 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 plenty to learn. Get a head start 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 an idyllic climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key 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 options.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers with regards 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 comfort control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, a landlord likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for detailed 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.
  • Gently hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.

Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Extended 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 call a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty smells are routinely tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly increasing? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working right.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live just about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the contractor and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The professional should determine the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair might be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you prefer.
  • When you work with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The technician will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You should also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation once you pick what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant will walk through the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and providing all the required documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, feel free]] to {reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is experienced 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 information or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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