HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on picking out your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, though you may also feel weighed down by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and utilities, 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. Get started with these HVAC system suggestions for brand-new homeowners.

Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System

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

  • Comfort equipment, 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 in the case of 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 comfort control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, a landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as 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, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

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

Then, request yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Extended 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 clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and musty smells are routinely tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately fail. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.

Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Describe the problem to your technician and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The technician will next identify the problem and recommend available solutions. A repair may be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you so choose.
  • When you work with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
  • The tech will provide a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you pick what system you want. Your technician will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, answering any questions and providing all the needed documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, feel free to reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient in a wide range of HVAC services, so turn to us 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.