Congrats on picking out your first home! You are no doubt pleased with your investment, even though you may also feel overloaded by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utilities, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get started with these HVAC system suggestions for new homeowners.
Know the Different Elements 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 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 choices.
- Ductwork connected to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, such as 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 rented, your landlord likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed 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:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following benefits when you hire a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Improved home comfort
- Extended system life span
- Peace of mind
Look 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 contractor:
- Loud noise: Don’t neglect a squealing, 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: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy smells are often associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly increasing? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If the finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how this works:
- Describe the problem to your technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
- The professional should identify the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair might be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from available 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 ideal for you.
- The technician will then supply you with a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You may also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant can review the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the needed documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, feel free to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a wide range of HVAC services, so turn to us for anything from furnace maintenance
to AC repair
to heat pump installation
. For more info or to ask for an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office