Congrats on picking out your first home! You are no doubt thrilled with your investment, even though you might feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re the owner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utilities, including 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 tips for new homeowners.
Know the Different Components of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in a perpetually comfortable climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the important 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 options.
- Ductwork connected 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 like boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor climate control.
Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you rented, a landlord most likely managed any HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize 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 enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain 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 measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you hire a professional to inspect your system once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Smaller repair bills
- Improved home comfort
- Expanded 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 signals that it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist:
- Excess noise: Don’t dismiss a whining, 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: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and musty smells are often associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills mysteriously going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If a finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be restored, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how that works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
- The tech will next determine the problem and recommend the best solutions. A repair may be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire multiple opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you prefer.
- When you contact Matz-Rightway, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The tech should provide a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You may also receive details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you figure out what system you want. Your technician will take care of everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant can review the new system with you, explaining how to use it, answering any questions and giving you all the required documentation.
If you have concerns about these HVAC system basics, feel free to reach out to Matz-Rightway. We focus on customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is proficient 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 details or to request an estimate, please get in touch with your local Matz-Rightway office