HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are certainly delighted with your investment, although you might feel overloaded by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and utilities, 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 plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions 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 through the winter and cool in 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 options.
  • 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 in the case of boilers.
  • Indoor air quality solutions, like 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, your landlord likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.

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

  • Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
  • Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.

Then, schedule annual 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 call a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Smaller repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Longer system life span
  • Peace of mind

Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Trouble

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

  • Excess noise: Don’t ignore 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: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy smells are routinely tied to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

  • Describe the problem to the technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
  • The technician should diagnose the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair may be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can secure multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
  • When you contact McElroy Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The technician will compose a written estimate describing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant will walk through the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the needed documentation.

Call McElroy Service Experts

If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to reach out to McElroy Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a full range of HVAC services, so give us a call for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask for an estimate, please get in touch with your local McElroy Service Experts office today.

 

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