HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners

Well done on buying your first home! You are no doubt pleased with your investment, though you might feel overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and systems, such as the heating and cooling equipment.

If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to adjust the thermostat, you have more to learn. Get started with these HVAC system tips for brand-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 probably has this system to keep you warm during the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:

  • Comfort units, such as an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few choices.
  • Ductwork fixed to return and supply registers when it comes to air-forced systems like ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
  • Radiators or hot water distribution systems such as boilers.
  • Indoor air quality equipment, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
  • Thermostat for indoor comfort control.

Recognize the Importance of Preventive Maintenance

When you rented, your landlord most likely handled any 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 offer 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 pare back vegetation to enhance airflow.
  • Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.

Then, schedule 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 identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system once a year:

  • Energy savings
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Lower repair bills
  • Improved home comfort
  • Extended 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 signs that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist:

  • Loud noise: Don’t ignore a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Comfort or air quality problems: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stuffy rooms and moldy odors are regularly linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
  • Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly going up? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
  • Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems inevitably fail. The typical life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps last around a decade.

Understand the HVAC Replacement Process

If your damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional's help. Here’s how it works:

  • Describe the problem to your technician and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
  • The professional will next identify the problem and recommend possible solutions. A repair might be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you so choose.
  • When you call Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
  • The technician will provide a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the overall cost. You should also get 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 proper disposal.
  • The sales consultant will walk through the new system with you, explaining how to use it, answering any questions and giving you all the required documentation.

Call Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts

If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to get in touch with Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts. We emphasize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your heating and cooling system. Our team is well-versed in a full range of HVAC services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more details or to ask about an estimate, please call your local Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts office today.


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