HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Congratulations on purchasing your first home! You are undoubtedly thrilled with your investment, although you may also feel overloaded 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 systems, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get started with these HVAC system basics for first-time homeowners.

Know the Different Components 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 throughout 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 choices.
  • Ductwork attached to return and supply registers with regards to air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems in the case of 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 climate control.

Understand the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you were renting your home, the landlord most likely handled any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have foot the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.

Now that you’re in charge, 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.
  • 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 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 responsibility. Watch for these clues that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling contractor:

  • Excessive noise: Don’t ignore a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality trouble: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like smells are often tied to defective HVAC equipment.
  • Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems eventually fail. 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 contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:

  • Describe the problem to the technician and let them explore it more in-depth.
  • The tech will determine the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair might be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you so choose.
  • When you call Jack Nelson Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is perfect for you.
  • The contractor should provide a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also receive info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
  • Schedule the installation once you decide what system you want. The technician will complete everything, like hauling away the old equipment for appropriate disposal.
  • The sales consultant can go over the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and giving you all the required documentation.

Call Jack Nelson Service Experts

If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jack Nelson Service Experts. We prioritize customer education to help you make the best decision about your home comfort system. Our team is well-versed in a wide range 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 Jack Nelson Service Experts office today.


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