Well done on purchasing your first home! You are obviously pleased with your investment, though you might feel overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain 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 use the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system basics for first-time 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 most likely has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the important parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort systems, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few possibilities.
- 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, such as an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor temperature control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you rented, a landlord probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled 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, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Carefully hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to improve airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, schedule yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Expect the following advantages when you hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Superior home comfort
- Expanded 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 signs that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling specialist:
- Loud noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can 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 moldy smells are often associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run around a decade.
Learn More About 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 it works:
- Describe the problem to your technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The professional will identify the problem and suggest possible solutions. A repair could be doable, but according to 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 so choose.
- When you contact Eveready Service Experts , a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The technician should supply you with a written estimate detailing the work required, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You may also receive information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you decide what system you want. Your technician will complete everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the necessary documentation.
Call Eveready Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don't wait to call Eveready Service Experts . We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us for anything from furnace maintenance
to AC repair
to heat pump installation
. For more information or to ask about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Eveready Service Experts office