HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on buying your first home! You are undoubtedly thrilled with your investment, even though you may feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utilities, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for brand-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 most 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 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 in the case of boilers.
  • Indoor air quality equipment, such as an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor comfort control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, a landlord probably managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re taking care of things, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete 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 enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, arrange 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. Expect the following benefits when you call a professional to inspect your system every year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Longer 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 might be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy odors are routinely tied to defective HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately wear out. The typical 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 the damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how it works:

  • Explain the problem to the technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The technician should identify the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair could be viable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can obtain numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
  • When you contact Fras-Air/General Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The tech will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation as soon as you pick what system you want. The technician will complete everything, even hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
  • The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the required documentation.

Call Fras-Air/General Service Experts

If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to get in touch with Fras-Air/General Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make the best decision about your home comfort system. Our team is experienced in a full array of HVAC services, so reach out for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Fras-Air/General Service Experts office today.

 

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