HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Well done on picking out your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, though you might feel overwhelmed by all the 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 come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have more to learn. Try these HVAC system suggestions for first-time homeowners.
Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home likely 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 equipment, such as 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 with regards to air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like 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 climate control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were renting your home, a landlord likely took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for detailed 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:
- 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, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following perks 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
Look Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these signals that it’s time to hire a heating and cooling professional:
- Excess noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and musty odors are regularly associated with malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Reduced 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 eventually fail. The average 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 defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how that works:
- Illustrate the problem to your technician and allow them to investigate it more in-depth.
- The technician will diagnose the problem and offer available solutions. A repair could be viable, but based on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can secure various opinions and estimates from different contractors if you want.
- When you contact Midway Services, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The technician will compose a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You should also be given info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you decide what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, like hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant can go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, addressing any questions and offering all the required documentation.
Call Midway ServicesIf you have concerns about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to call Midway Services. We focus on customer education to help you make the best decision about your home comfort 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 info or to ask about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Midway Services office today.