Well done on purchasing your first home! You are certainly delighted with your investment, although you may also feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, 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 come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Try 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 a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm during 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 possibilities.
- Ductwork fixed 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, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor comfort control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were renting your home, the landlord most likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re in charge, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Change 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, request yearly 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. Expect the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Improved 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 responsibility. Watch for these signals that it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t ignore a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy odors are regularly linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working correctly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually give out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If your finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how that works:
- Illustrate the problem to your technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech will determine the problem and suggest the best solutions. A repair could be doable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can secure multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you so choose.
- When you work with Finch Air Conditioning & Heating, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The technician will then provide a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You may also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you decide what system you want. Your technician will handle everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant will walk through the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the required documentation.
Call Finch Air Conditioning & Heating
If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to get in touch with Finch Air Conditioning & Heating. We focus on customer education to help you make an informed decision about your home comfort system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so give us a call for everything from furnace maintenance
to AC repair
to heat pump installation
. For more info or to ask for an estimate, please call your local Finch Air Conditioning & Heating office