HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Congrats on picking out your first home! You are certainly pleased with your investment, although you may also feel overloaded by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, such as the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions for new homeowners.
Know the Parts of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the basic 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 when it comes 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, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor comfort control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, your landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re responsible for this, you can give 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 improve airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, schedule yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Superior home comfort
- Expanded 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:
- Excess 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 issues: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty odors are regularly associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately give out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live just about a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If a damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:
- Explain the problem to the technician and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
- The professional will next determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair could be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
- When you work with A1 Chesney Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The technician should compose a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You may also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you decide what system you want. Your contractor will complete everything, even hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should walk through the new system with you, detailing how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the needed documentation.
Call A1 Chesney Service ExpertsIf you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, feel free to reach out to A1 Chesney Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient 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 about an estimate, please get in touch with your local A1 Chesney Service Experts office today.