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Here’s the HVAC Basics You Need to Know

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If You’re Graduating and Moving Into Your First Place, Learn HVAC Basic Care (So Mom & Dad Can Quit Worrying)

Congratulations! Graduating college is exciting and scary at the same time! Your resume is ready; the job hunt is going well, how about a place to call home? Whether you buy a home or rent, there are several things you need to know to prepare yourself for the challenges with being a responsible adult. One of the most expensive items in your home is your heating and air unit. When an HVAC system fails or breaks down unexpectedly, the cost of repairing it can be expensive, causing you to call mom or dad to help with footing the bill. Know HVAC basic care to prevent malfunctions and reduce the chance of calling a heating and air expert.

HVAC Basic Care

Knowing the terms associated with your heating and air system is important when dealing with maintenance, routine service or unexpected repair. Apollo Home, for example, offers a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan, the Apollo Care Plan, to keep your heating and air system in check for every season. As a bonus, the Apollo Care Plan has several benefits including annual evaluations of your plumbing, sewer and electrical systems as well, so you’re aware of the status of your home’s systems. Maintenance inspects the unit’s efficiency, operation and keeps the unit clean while delivering ideal temperatures throughout your home. Semi-annual maintenance is the most important task for HVAC basic care. It’s simple, easy and affordable for young graduates dealing with new budgets and work schedules! Another tip for HVAC basic care is to know what kind of heating and cooling unit is installed in your home. The most common HVAC units are:
  • Furnace: Responsible for heating your home during the colder months, a furnace operates using natural gas, LP gas, oil or electricity to produce heat. This is the most common heating method in a home. It blows warm air to an area using ducts, vents and registers.
  • Air Conditioner: This system provides cool air throughout your home using refrigeration cycling. As warm air passes through the air conditioner, it is cooled by the refrigerant and evaporator coil. The removed heat is released to the condenser, which is housed in the outdoor unit, sometimes referred to as the AC compressor.
  • Heat Pump: This HVAC unit does double duty year-round by providing heating and cooling from one unit. It doesn’t get seasonal breaks, which is why maintenance is vital to its performance and lifespan. During the warmer months, it takes heat from inside and exhausts it outside. The colder months, it pulls heat from outside and delivers it inside to warm your home. 
Once you know what kind of HVAC system you have in your home, you need to know what components fit into the DIY category of HVAC basic care and what parts need attention from a licensed heating and cooling professional. Common HVAC terms include:
  • Condensing Unit: The outdoor unit holds the condensing unit which collects and releases heat as air moves over it. If the condensing unit is operating incorrectly or you notice damage to the outdoor unit, call Apollo Home for help from a qualified HVAC technician. Be sure to check it periodically and clear away vegetation or yard clutter, like dried leaves and twigs. The unit should have a buffer of two to three feet around it for proper airflow.
  • Evaporator Coil: The evaporator coil runs refrigerant through it. It operates by cooling air as it passes over the coils before the air is delivered throughout your ductwork and into your home. Evaporator coils can ice up, or the refrigerant can leak, which is why you need to call a professional to deal with cooling issues stemming from the evaporator coil.
  • Thermostat: This handy device controls the temperature in your home by communicating with your heating and cooling system. Simple tasks you can do with your thermostat are to check the batteries and settings if something isn’t functioning correctly. If the batteries are fine and the settings are correct, consult an HVAC technician from Apollo Home to determine if the thermostat is the problem or if something bigger is the cause. Newer models boast programmable settings, ENERGY STAR ratings and communication via Wi-Fi and apps. The Nest thermostat, for example, is referred to as a “Smart” thermostat because it “learns” the routines of your household and after a week intuitively adjusts.
  • Air Filter: Proper filtration of your indoor air is vital for your health and the health of your heating and air system. You can check your air filter or furnace filter monthly to ensure no clogs are present. Filters need to be changed or replaced every few months to keep your system clean and ductwork free of obstructions. If you aren’t confident about changing your filter, contact Apollo Home to schedule service and a technician will replace the filter quickly for you.
Prepare yourself for the adult world waiting for you after graduation by knowing proper HVAC basic care. The best way to avoid disaster is to know what system you have and to invest in preventative maintenance for your heating and air units. Call Apollo Home to learn more about our Apollo Care Plan to preserve your home’s systems and to protect your budget. Our uniformed technicians are licensed, insured and thoroughly background checked for your peace of mind. They are industry-certified and receive ongoing training so they can repair any brand your home might currently use. They are always happy to answer any questions about your equipment or their service process. Call Apollo Home today!
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