Five Furnace Tips for New Homeowners
1. Know the Details
Not all HVAC systems are the same as there are many types of equipment that heat and cool homes. For example, an HVAC system may have an air conditioner and gas furnace, or a heat pump and an electric furnace. If a home uses a boiler for heat, it might run on propane, oil, natural gas or a different type of fuel. If your realtor didn’t provide you with information regarding the type of heating and cooling systems in your home, now is the perfect time to learn more about it. In addition to knowing about the types of equipment used, it is also a good idea to know about their energy sources and any add-on systems, such as zoning systems, air purifiers and dehumidifiers.
2. Replace the Filters
Don’t assume that the previous homeowners replaced the filters in the heating and cooling units before they handed you the keys. Even if your home is brand new, contractors might have used the HVAC system to create an environment that’s ideal for drying paint, drywall, adhesives and other materials. When you move in, replace the HVAC filter to ensure the system works efficiently and circulates clean air throughout your home.
3. Schedule a Professional Maintenance and Inspection
Waiting until the HVAC system has a problem to call a professional could backfire on you because you might find yourself without heat on the coldest winter day. If your home is not brand new, hire an HVAC professional to inspect and maintain the system as soon as possible. The specialist will alert you to small problems that could become expensive repairs if they aren’t addressed, tell you more information about the system (e.g., the type and age), and give you maintenance tips that you can do on your own throughout the year to keep the unit running more efficiently. Schedule professional HVAC maintenance and inspection every year to prolong the life of your heating and cooling units and prevent the need for major repairs.
4. Know Details about the Warranty
Learn about the warranty that came with the heating and cooling systems in your new home. Details to pay attention to include the period of coverage and the types of repairs the warranty covers. Keep in mind that if the previous homeowners failed to hire a licensed professional to complete annual maintenance on newer HVAC equipment or failed to hire a professional to perform certain repairs, they may have accidentally voided the warranty.
5. Learn to Use the Thermostat to Maximize Efficiency
A programmable thermostat helps ensure your system operates efficiently throughout the year. Take advantage of its various settings to keep your home comfortable when it’s occupied and to save energy while you’re asleep or on vacation. An HVAC specialist can show you how to program and operate the thermostat, as well as make recommendations regarding the best temperatures settings.