Well done on buying your first home! You are no doubt pleased with your investment, even though you may feel weighed down 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 systems, 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 a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for first-time homeowners.
Know the Parts of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in the perfect climate, your new home likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Here are the key 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 possibilities.
- Ductwork attached to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like 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 probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have paid the bill for thorough heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re taking care of things, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, request yearly maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can perform 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 once a year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower repair bills
- Improved 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 job. Watch for these signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Loud noise: Don’t neglect a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Erratic temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and mold-like smells are regularly associated with faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working correctly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical utilities, HVAC systems eventually wear out. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run around a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If the damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how this works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and permit them to take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician should diagnose the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair might 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 available contractors if you want.
- When you work with Orangutan Home Services, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The tech should supply you with a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You might also get information about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you pick what system you want. The technician will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant will go over the new system with you, explaining how to use it, helping with any questions and offering all the needed documentation.
Call Orangutan Home Services
If you have questions about these HVAC system basics, don't wait to get in touch with Orangutan Home Services. We emphasize customer education to help you make an educated decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is experienced in a wide range of HVAC services, so give us a call for everything from furnace maintenance
to AC repair
to heat pump installation
. For more info or to ask about an estimate, please call your local Orangutan Home Services office