Congratulations on picking out your first home! You are no doubt pleased with your investment, even though you may 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 utility equipment, like the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions 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 most likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort systems, 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 with regards to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor comfort control.
Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were renting your home, your landlord likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for comprehensive 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 increase 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 measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Smaller repair bills
- Enhanced 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 responsibility. Watch for these signs that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling contractor:
- Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like smells are regularly tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably wear out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If the finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician should determine the problem and suggest available solutions. A repair could be viable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from available contractors if you prefer.
- When you contact Teays Valley Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The technician will then supply you with a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also get details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you figure out what system you want. Your contractor will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant will review the new system with you, explaining how to use it, addressing any questions and providing all the needed documentation.
Call Teays Valley Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, don’t hesitate to call Teays Valley Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your home comfort system. Our team is well-versed in a wide range of HVAC services, so give us a call 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 Teays Valley Service Experts office today.