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HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on buying your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, even though you might feel weighed down by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, like the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions for 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 during the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:

    • Comfort systems, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
    • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
    • Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
    • Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
    • Thermostat for indoor temperature control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were a renter, your landlord most likely handled 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 in charge, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:

    • Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
    • Lightly 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 a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:

    • Energy savings
    • Fewer breakdowns
    • More affordable repair bills
    • Superior 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 responsibility. Watch for these clues that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling professional:

    • Loud noise: Don’t neglect 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: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy smells are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
    • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly increasing? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working correctly.
    • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run just about a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

    • Illustrate the problem to the contractor and permit them to investigate it more in-depth.
    • The professional should identify the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair might be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
    • You can obtain numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you so choose.
    • When you contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
    • The contractor will supply you with a written estimate detailing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also receive details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
    • Schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want. The technician will complete 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, answering any questions and providing all the required documentation.

Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is experienced in a full array 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 about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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