Well done on picking out your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, though you might feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and systems, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions 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 in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important 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 connected 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 equipment, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were renting your home, a landlord most likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for detailed 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.
- Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following perks when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Superior home comfort
- Expanded 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 clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Excess noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality trouble: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and moldy smells are often tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately fail. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If the defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how this works:
- Explain the problem to the technician and allow them to investigate it more in-depth.
- The professional will next determine the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair could be doable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire various opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
- When you contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The technician will then provide a written estimate outlining the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You may also get information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, like 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 required documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, don't wait to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We prioritize customer education to help you make the best decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so reach out for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.