HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Congrats on purchasing your first home! You are no doubt delighted with your investment, although you might feel overloaded by all your 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 systems, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get started with 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 an idyllic climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort units, 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 including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, your 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 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.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and pare back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks when you hire a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Improved home comfort
- Extended 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 signs that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Excessive noise: Don’t ignore a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and moldy smells are routinely associated with defective HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working correctly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If the defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how it works:
- Describe the problem to your technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech will diagnose the problem and offer available solutions. A repair may be feasible, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you prefer.
- When you call Parker Pearce Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The tech will compose a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also receive details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the needed documentation.
Call Parker Pearce Service ExpertsIf you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, feel free to get in touch with Parker Pearce 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 reach out 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 Parker Pearce Service Experts office today.