HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congrats on purchasing your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, 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 systems, including 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. Get a head start with these HVAC system tips 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 basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort systems, such as an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few options.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
  • Indoor air quality products, including 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, a landlord probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, you can offer 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 increase airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Smaller 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 job. Watch for these signals that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excess noise: Don’t neglect a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like odors are often associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working correctly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably give out. 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 fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:

  • Explain the problem to the contractor and let them investigate it more in-depth.
  • The technician should identify the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair might be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from different contractors if you prefer.
  • When you work with R & M Climate Control Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The tech should compose a written estimate describing the work required, 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 pick what system you want. Your contractor will complete everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant should walk through the new system with you, describing how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the necessary documentation.

Call R & M Climate Control Service Experts

If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, feel free to get in touch with R & M Climate Control Service Experts. We emphasize 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 for an estimate, please contact your local R & M Climate Control Service Experts office today.

 

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