Congrats on buying your first home! You are undoubtedly thrilled with your investment, even though you might feel overwhelmed by all the 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 systems, like 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 plenty to learn. Try 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 a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the important 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 choices.
- Ductwork connected to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, including 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 a renter, the landlord most likely 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 taking care of things, you can give 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 enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can execute in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Enhanced home comfort
- Longer 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 clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality trouble: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and mold-like smells are often linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately wear 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 your finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how this works:
- Describe the problem to your technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
- The tech should determine the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair might be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain various opinions and estimates from available contractors if you so choose.
- When you work with Roland J. Down Service Experts , a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The tech will provide a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also receive details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the required documentation.
Call Roland J. Down Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, feel free to get in touch with Roland J. Down Service Experts . We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient in a wide range of HVAC services, so turn to us 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 Roland J. Down Service Experts office today.