HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Congratulations on buying your first home! You are obviously thrilled with your investment, although you may feel weighed down by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utility equipment, like 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 more to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system tips for first-time 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 in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
- Ductwork attached to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems like 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 temperature control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you rented, a landlord probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re in charge, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, arrange yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Improved 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 signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty smells are regularly tied to defective HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly increasing? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably give out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how that works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and let them explore it more in-depth.
- The tech will next determine the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair could be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain multiple opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you want.
- When you work with Norrell Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The tech will then compose a written estimate outlining the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also be given information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, detailing how to use it, answering any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Norrell Service ExpertsIf you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, don’t hesitate to call Norrell Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a wide 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 request an estimate, please contact your local Norrell Service Experts office today.