Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are no doubt delighted with your investment, though you may feel overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and systems, 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 plenty to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for 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 probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort units, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
- Ductwork attached to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including 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.
Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, your landlord most likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid 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:
- Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to improve airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks when you get a professional to inspect your system every year:
- 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 responsibility. Watch for these signs that it’s time to call a heating and cooling professional:
- Loud noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy odors are often linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly increasing? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, 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 your defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how that works:
- Describe the problem to the technician and allow them to investigate it more in-depth.
- The professional will next determine the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair may be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
- When you call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you pick what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, including hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
- The sales consultant should review the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We emphasize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office