Well done on picking out your first home! You are no doubt thrilled with your investment, although 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 care for all your home’s appliances and utilities, including 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 a head start with these HVAC system basics 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 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 systems, 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 with regards to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, a landlord likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as 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:
- Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to increase airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced 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 benefits when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Superior home comfort
- Longer system life span
- Peace of mind
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these signals that it’s time to call a heating and cooling contractor:
- Loud noise: Don’t ignore a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty odors are regularly linked to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems eventually give out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If your defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:
- Describe the problem to the technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
- The tech will next diagnose the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair could be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you so choose.
- When you contact Falso Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The technician should supply you with a written estimate describing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant can walk through the new system with you, detailing how to use it, answering any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Falso Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, don't wait to reach out to Falso Service Experts. We prioritize 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 reach out for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please call your local Falso Service Experts office today.