HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on picking out your first home! You are undoubtedly delighted with your investment, although you may also feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for 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 use 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 probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few options.
  • Ductwork connected to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as 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 temperature control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, a landlord probably handled 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 responsible for this, you can offer 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 pare back vegetation to enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, request annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system annually:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • More affordable repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Extended system life span
  • Peace of mind

Watch for Signs of Trouble

Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these clues that it’s time to call a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excess noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and moldy odors are regularly tied to defective HVAC equipment.
  • Low energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly going up? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working right.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems inevitably 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 the damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:

  • Explain the problem to the technician and allow them to investigate it more in-depth.
  • The professional will determine the problem and offer available solutions. A repair could be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
  • When you contact Gordon's Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The tech will compose a written estimate outlining the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You might also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation once you figure out what system you want. Your technician will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant should review the new system with you, describing how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the needed documentation.

Call Gordon's Service Experts

If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, don’t hesitate to reach out to Gordon's Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to request an estimate, please get in touch with your local Gordon's Service Experts office today.

 

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