HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on buying your first home! You are obviously delighted with your investment, although you may feel weighed down 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 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 use the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get started with these HVAC system suggestions for first-time homeowners.

Know the Different Components of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort equipment, like 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 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, including 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 renting your home, your landlord most likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Change 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 sustain proper system balance.

Then, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following perks when you call a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Superior 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 signs that it’s time to call a heating and cooling professional:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a screeching, 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 mold-like smells are routinely associated with defective HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The average 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 fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:

  • Explain the problem to your technician and allow them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The tech will diagnose the problem and suggest the best solutions. A repair could be viable, 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 Barlow Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The tech will supply you with a written estimate outlining the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also get details 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 safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant can review the new system with you, detailing how to use it, addressing any questions and offering all the required documentation.

Call Barlow Service Experts

If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, don't wait to get in touch with Barlow Service Experts. We emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a full array of HVAC services, so reach out for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to ask about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Barlow Service Experts office today.

 

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