Congratulations on buying your first home! You are certainly pleased with your investment, although you might feel overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utilities, like 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 more to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Different Components 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 throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort systems, such as 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 with regards to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, like 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 were renting your home, your landlord likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for comprehensive 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.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Improved home comfort
- Expanded system life span
- Peace of mind
Look Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these clues that it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like smells are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The average 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 the finicky 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 contractor and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech should diagnose the problem and offer available solutions. A repair may be viable, but depending on 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 work with 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 supply you with a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You should also get info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you pick what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant can review the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We focus on customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient 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 details or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.