Congratulations on buying your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, even though you might feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and systems, 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 plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system tips for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Different Components 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 through the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort units, like 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 like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor temperature control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, a landlord likely handled 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 taking care of things, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you get 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
Look 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 hire a heating and cooling contractor:
- Loud noise: Don’t dismiss 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 problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy odors are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last about a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If your finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how this works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The tech should diagnose the problem and offer the best solutions. A repair could be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire various opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
- When you call Broad Ripple Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal 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 receive info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you decide what system you want. Your technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant can walk through the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Broad Ripple Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to call Broad Ripple Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a wide range of HVAC services, so give us a call for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Broad Ripple Service Experts office today.