Heating and cooling are crucial for your experience as a first-time homeowner. The HVAC system is the key component to your everyday comfort, not to mention your bills and emergency funds. Whether you’ve just bought a house (congratulations on that!) with an installed HVAC or you’re looking to buy a new system, you should know a couple of things.
These are the essential HVAC facts for new homeowners.
Your Home Warranty Might Cover HVAC
First, you might be thinking – shouldn’t your home warranty cover your HVAC system? It is considered a key home system, after all. Here’s what Cinch, one of the leading providers of home warranty HVAC coverage in the US, says about this matter:
“Generally, most home warranty companies cover HVAC systems. Some elements of the heating and cooling systems may not be included in your coverage, but that will be outlined in your contract terms and conditions.”
However, you should be aware that some home warranty providers don’t cover pre-existing conditions and systems. If you’ve bought HVAC together with your home, and it’s already had issues when you bought it, the warranty might not cover it.
If this is the case, you should get to know your HVAC.
HVAC Systems Have 9 Key Components
Just because you’ve graduated to the point in your life where you can afford to buy your own place, that doesn’t mean that you are an HVAC connoisseur. Most people have owned HVAC systems for decades without learning the first thing about them, so don’t worry.
It consists of nine key components that you should learn to differentiate:
- Furnace – the HVAC’s central heating unit;
- Heat exchanger – turns cold air into hot air;
- Evaporator coil – turns hot air into cold air;
- Condensing unit – your home’s exhaust pipe;
- Refrigerant tubes – connect the outdoor and indoor units;
- Thermostat – it allows you to control the temperature;
- Ductwork – distributes cool or hot air throughout the house;
- Vents – control the airflow from the ductwork;
- Heat pump – it pumps cool or hot air out of your house.
As you can see, HVAC is a complex system that provides heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
There Are Different Types of HVAC Systems
There are six major types of HVAC systems – furnace & air conditioner, heat pump, boiler, furnace & heat pump, mini-split heat pump, and geothermal heat pump.
This list doesn’t exhaust the incredible number of options modern HVAC providers offer. Home systems come in three variants – split, hybrid heat split, and ductless mini-split. A new homeowner could feel overwhelmed by this multitude of choices.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to know what type of HVAC system you have in your home. You will depend on its proper functioning for a long time, so it’s better to understand the system you will be dealing with – the sooner, the better.
AIR Filters Must Be Changed Regularly
Air pollution is becoming a global problem that will become harder and harder to escape, no matter where you live. Many people don’t know this, but indoor air quality can get much worse than outside air because the air gets sealed in with insufficient room to circulate. That’s a major health concern, and not just for people with respiratory problems.
HVAC systems play an important role in this. If you don’t maintain it properly, the air quality in your home can become dangerous for your health. To prevent this, you must pay attention to the state of air filters and change them when they turn dirty.
HVAC Ductwork Is Usually Full of Dirt
Air filters are not the only part of your HVAC system that traps pollutants with dust and dirt. Harmful particles can accumulate over time in the ductwork. If your HVAC system is loud, this is probably the reason. You should call a technician to inspect your ductwork.
The Condenser Unit Can Get Clogged
The condenser unit is an HVAC component that works similarly to your car’s exhaust pipe. It’s that box in your backyard or at the back of your house that gives off heat. You don’t have to know the mechanics behind it, but you should regularly clean it of debris.
Otherwise, exposure to outside dirt, dust, and wind can clog the condenser unit and lower the cooling capacity of your HVAC system until it eventually breaks.
HVAC Technicians Will Visit You All the Time
One thing that nobody tells you when you buy your first house is that most homeowners see their HVAC technicians more often than their extended family. HVAC systems are complex and fragile. They include many small parts, each affecting the system’s quality and efficiency.
Even with regular maintenance, you can expect frequent visits from an HVAC technician. You can’t avoid that, but you can control how much you spend on repairs. The more you learn and care about your HVAC system, the less it will cost you in the long run.
If you maintain your HVAC system properly and clean it every now and then, it will likely serve you well for decades. However, it’s one of the aspects of household maintenance and budgeting that many homeowners neglect – until its starts costing them a lot of money.
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