Well done on purchasing your first home! You are undoubtedly thrilled with your investment, even though you may also feel overloaded by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and utilities, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system tips for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Different Components of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in the perfect climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, 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 like boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you rented, the landlord probably handled any 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 responsible for this, 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.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, request yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower 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 responsibility. Watch for these signs that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and musty odors are regularly linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- 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 can live around a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If your defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how this works:
- Describe the problem to the contractor and let them explore it more in-depth.
- The professional will determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair may be viable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
- When you contact Stevenson Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The contractor should compose a written estimate describing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You might also receive info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you pick what system you want. The technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant will review the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and providing all the required documentation.
Call Stevenson Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to reach out to Stevenson Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated 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 details or to ask for an estimate, please call your local Stevenson Service Experts office today.