HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on purchasing your first home! You are undoubtedly thrilled with your investment, although you may also feel overloaded by all your 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 come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system basics for brand-new 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 in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort equipment, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
  • Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
  • Indoor air quality solutions, 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 probably managed any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can offer 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 trained professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following perks when you hire a professional to inspect your system every year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Superior 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 signs that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:

  • Loud noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home’s furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and musty odors are routinely linked to defective HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The typical 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 specialist’s help. Here’s how this works:

  • Describe the problem to the contractor and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The technician will next diagnose the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair might be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire various opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you prefer.
  • When you call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The tech will supply you with a written estimate detailing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also receive info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want. Your technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant can go over the new system with you, detailing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a wide range of HVAC services, so reach out for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to ask about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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