HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on picking out your first home! You are no doubt delighted with your investment, even though you may also feel weighed down by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of 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 use the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for new homeowners.

Know the Different Components of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort equipment, such as an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
  • Ductwork attached to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
  • Indoor air quality solutions, like 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 a renter, the landlord likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as 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, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Gently hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

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

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Superior home comfort
  • Extended system life span
  • Peace of mind

Watch for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these signs that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Excess noise: Don’t dismiss 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: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like smells are often linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably give out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last just about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Explain the problem to the contractor and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The tech should identify the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair might be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
  • When you call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The contractor will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, feel free]] to {reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is experienced in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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