Well done on buying your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, though you may feel weighed down by all your 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 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 plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system basics for first-time homeowners.
Know the Different Elements 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 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 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 in the case of boilers.
- Indoor air quality solutions, such as an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor comfort control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, your landlord most likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re taking care of things, you can offer preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, request 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 gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks when you get a professional to inspect your system every year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Improved home comfort
- Extended 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 clues that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy odors are often tied to defective HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems ultimately fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If your defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how this works:
- Describe the problem to your technician and permit them to investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech should identify the problem and offer the best solutions. A repair may be feasible, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can secure various opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
- When you call Atmostemp Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The tech will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. Your technician will handle 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, helping with any questions and providing all the necessary documentation.
Call Atmostemp Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to reach out to Atmostemp Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make the best decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient 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 get in touch with your local Atmostemp Service Experts office today.