Congratulations on picking out your first home! You are no doubt thrilled with your investment, although you might feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Get started 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 a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key 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 possibilities.
- Ductwork attached to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
- Indoor air quality solutions, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, a landlord likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re taking care of things, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize 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 increase airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can perform 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 hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Smaller repair bills
- Enhanced 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 professional:
- Excessive noise: Don’t dismiss a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty smells are often associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning correctly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately give out. 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 the defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how that works:
- Explain the problem to your technician and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
- The tech should determine the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair may be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain various opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you prefer.
- When you call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The technician will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might 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 handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, detailing how to use it, answering any questions and offering 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 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 give us a call for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to ask for an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.