HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on purchasing your first home! You are no doubt pleased with your investment, though you may also feel weighed down by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for brand-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 most 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 systems, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few possibilities.
  • Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
  • Indoor air quality solutions, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor climate control.

Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, the landlord most likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re responsible for this, you can provide 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.
  • Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.

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

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Smaller repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Longer system life span
  • Peace of mind

Watch 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 contractor:

  • Excess noise: Don’t neglect a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty odors are routinely associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately give out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

If your finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist’s help. Here’s how this works:

  • Illustrate the problem to your technician and allow them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The tech should determine the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair could be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you so choose.
  • When you work with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The technician will provide a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You should also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will complete everything, even hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant should 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 & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, feel free]] to {reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is well-versed in a full range of HVAC services, so reach out for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask about an estimate, please call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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