Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are certainly delighted with your investment, although you may feel overloaded by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, 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 come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for new 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 in the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort units, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few options.
- Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems such as ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, like 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, your landlord most likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks like 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, perform these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, arrange annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system every year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Smaller repair bills
- Superior home comfort
- Longer system life span
- Peace of mind
Keep an Eye 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 call a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excessive noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It might be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality trouble: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and musty smells are routinely associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously on the rise? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning right.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems ultimately fail. 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 damaged 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 the technician and let them investigate it more in-depth.
- The technician will next diagnose the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair could be doable, 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 want.
- When you work with Knochelmann Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
- The tech will supply you with a written estimate outlining the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You might also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation after you pick what system you want. Your technician will take care of everything, even hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant should go over the new system with you, detailing how to use it, addressing any questions and giving you all the necessary documentation.
Call Knochelmann Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to reach out to Knochelmann Service Experts. We emphasize customer education to help you make the best decision about your home comfort system. Our team is proficient in a full range of HVAC services, so give us a call for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Knochelmann Service Experts office today.