HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on buying your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, though you might feel overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and systems, like 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 suggestions for first-time homeowners.

Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home likely 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 systems, such as 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 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, such as 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 rented, the landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re taking care of things, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

    • Change 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, request 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. Expect the following perks when you hire a professional to inspect your system annually:

    • Energy savings
    • Fewer breakdowns
    • More affordable repair bills
    • Enhanced home comfort
    • Expanded 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 contact a heating and cooling professional:

    • Excessive noise: Don’t ignore a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Comfort or air quality problems: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like odors are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
    • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
    • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run just about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

    • Describe the problem to the contractor and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
    • The tech will next identify the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair could be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
    • You can obtain multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
    • 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 perfect for you.
    • The tech will provide a written estimate detailing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
    • Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
    • The sales consultant will review the new system with you, describing how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the required documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t wait Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We focus on customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient in a full array of HVAC services, so give us a call for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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