Congrats on picking out your first home! You are undoubtedly pleased with your investment, although you may also feel weighed down by all the 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, such as 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 brand-new homeowners.
Know the Parts of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort units, 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 including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
- Indoor air quality equipment, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were renting your home, a landlord most likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as 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, complete 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 preserve proper system balance.
Then, arrange 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 identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following advantages when you get a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Superior 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 contact a heating and cooling contractor:
- Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a screeching, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality trouble: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and mold-like smells are regularly associated with defective HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live just 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 contractor’s help. Here’s how it works:
- Explain the problem to your technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The tech will identify the problem and offer available solutions. A repair might be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can secure multiple opinions and estimates from available contractors if you prefer.
- When you contact All American Air Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The contractor will then supply you with a written estimate outlining the work necessary, 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 as soon as you figure out what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
- The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, addressing any questions and offering all the required documentation.
Call All American Air Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, feel free to reach out to All American Air Service Experts. We emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so reach out for everything from furnace maintenance
to AC repair
to heat pump installation
. For more information or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local All American Air Service Experts office