HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on picking out your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, even though you may feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, including the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Try these HVAC system tips for first-time homeowners.

Know the Parts 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 in the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, such as 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 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 equipment, such as an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor comfort control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were a renter, your landlord likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re responsible for this, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

  • Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Gently 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 execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following advantages when you hire 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 signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t dismiss a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality issues: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like smells are often tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live around a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Illustrate the problem to the technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
  • The tech should determine the problem and suggest 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 obtain various opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you prefer.
  • When you work with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The technician will supply you with a written estimate outlining the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You should also get information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and providing all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, feel free to call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient 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 get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.