Congrats on picking out your first home! You are undoubtedly pleased with your investment, although you might feel overloaded by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and utilities, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Parts 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 for 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 fixed to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as 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 rented, the 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 in charge, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to increase airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you hire 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 responsibility. Watch for these signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling contractor:
- 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 problems: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like smells are regularly associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually fail. The standard 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 a damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how this works:
- Explain the problem to the technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech should diagnose the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair might be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can secure various opinions and estimates from available contractors if you so choose.
- When you call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The tech will then supply you with a written estimate detailing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You might also receive information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. The technician will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant will review the new system with you, detailing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the needed documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, feel free to get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your home comfort system. Our team is proficient in a full array of HVAC services, so reach out for anything 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 office