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HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on buying your first home! You are certainly pleased with your investment, though you might feel overloaded by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, 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 experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for brand-new 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 probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the important 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 connected to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
    • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
    • Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
    • Thermostat for indoor climate control.

Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were a renter, the landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete 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, arrange 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 identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks when you hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:

    • Energy savings
    • Fewer breakdowns
    • More affordable repair bills
    • Superior 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 signals that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling professional:

    • Loud noise: Don’t ignore a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home’s furnace or air conditioner.
    • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty odors are routinely tied to defective HVAC equipment.
    • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
    • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

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

    • Illustrate the problem to the technician and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
    • The technician will determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair might be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
    • You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
    • When you call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
    • The technician will compose a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You might also get information 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 walk through 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 & Plumbing

If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a full range of HVAC services, so reach out for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to ask for an estimate, please call your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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