HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are certainly delighted with your investment, even though you may also feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for 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 adjust the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for first-time 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 likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool for the summer. Here are the key parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, like 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 with regards to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like 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 temperature control.
Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, the landlord probably handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re responsible for this, you can provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain proper system balance.
Then, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a trained 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 benefits when you hire a professional to inspect your system every year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Superior 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 signs that it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist:
- Loud noise: Don’t ignore a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might 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 odors are regularly linked to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly increasing? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run just about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how this works:
- Describe the problem to your technician and allow them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician will determine the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair could be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain multiple opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
- When you contact Becht/Givens Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The contractor will provide a written estimate detailing the work necessary, 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 after you pick what system you want. The technician will take care of everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant should walk through the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and giving you all the required documentation.
Call Becht/Givens Service ExpertsIf you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, don’t hesitate to reach out to Becht/Givens Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your HVAC system. Our team is proficient in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything 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 Becht/Givens Service Experts office today.