Congrats on buying your first home! You are obviously delighted with your investment, although you may feel overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to care for all your home’s appliances and utilities, like the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever experienced with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have more to learn. Try 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 the perfect climate, your new home most likely 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 systems, like 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 in the case of air-forced systems such as 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 were renting your home, the landlord most likely took care of 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 provide preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and trim back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to maintain 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 gauging air leaks in the ductwork. Count on the following advantages when you call a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Lower 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 hire a heating and cooling professional:
- 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 trouble: Inconsistent temperatures, high or low humidity, stagnant rooms and musty odors are regularly tied to malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
- Low energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly going up? This might mean your heating and cooling system isn’t running properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems eventually give out. The typical 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 the finicky furnace or air conditioner can’t be repaired, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC specialist's help. Here’s how it works:
- Describe the problem to the technician and allow them to explore it more in-depth.
- The technician should identify the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair might be viable, but depending on the unit’s condition and age, a replacement can be more cost-effective.
- You can obtain numerous opinions and estimates from assorted contractors if you want.
- When you contact Rolf Griffin Service Experts , a residential sales consultant will review what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The contractor will supply you with a written estimate detailing the work necessary, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You should also get info about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you pick what system you want. Your contractor will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant can walk through the new system with you, explaining how to use it, answering any questions and providing all the needed documentation.
Call Rolf Griffin Service Experts
If you have concerns about these HVAC system fundamentals, feel free to reach out to Rolf Griffin 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 reach out for anything from furnace maintenance
to AC repair
to heat pump installation
. For more details or to ask about an estimate, please contact your local Rolf Griffin Service Experts office