Well done on purchasing your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, although you may feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utilities, like the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions for first-time 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 for 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 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 such as boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor comfort control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, your landlord most likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re responsible for this, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to improve airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can perform 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 hire 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
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these signs that it’s time to call a heating and cooling professional:
- Loud noise: Don’t dismiss 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: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and moldy odors are regularly linked to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running correctly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run around a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how that works:
- Explain the problem to the contractor and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician will determine the problem and suggest the best solutions. A repair might be doable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
- When you work with Air Engineers Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The technician should compose a written estimate detailing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You might also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you decide what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, even hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should review the new system with you, detailing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Air Engineers Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don't wait to reach out to Air Engineers Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to request an estimate, please call your local Air Engineers Service Experts office today.