HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on picking out your first home! You are undoubtedly delighted with your investment, although you may feel overwhelmed by all these 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 utility equipment, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for first-time 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 likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, such as 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 with regards 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 equipment, including 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, your landlord most likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as 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 give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Gently hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to improve airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, request annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained 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 advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower 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 clues that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling professional:

  • Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, 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: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and mold-like odors are regularly associated with defective HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working 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 a 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:

  • Illustrate the problem to the contractor and permit them to investigate it more in-depth.
  • The tech should determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair might be doable, but depending 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 contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The technician will then provide a written estimate detailing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You may also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, even hauling away the old equipment for appropriate 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 & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, feel free]] to {reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We focus on customer education to help you make the best decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a wide 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 call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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