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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Moses

Understanding Your HVAC System

Title: Nurturing Your Home’s Vital Organs: A Guide to HVAC Systems and Filter Maintenance

One of the of the largest expenses a home owner may face is the replacement of their HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). So it is important to know some basic information, especially for first time home buyers, when having your Home Inspection during the due diligence period of purchasing a home. Knowing the various components and their life span can help you budget for their replacement, so that you're not caught without heat in the dead of winter.

Central Air Conditioning: Keeping Cool with Care

Central air conditioning is the cool breeze that transforms scorching summers into pleasant retreats within the confines of your home. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding Central Air Conditioning: A standard air conditioner or cooling system uses a specialized chemical called refrigerant, and has three main mechanical components: a compressor, a condenser coil and an evaporator coil. These components work together to quickly convert the refrigerant from gas to liquid and back again. The compressor raises the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas and sends it to the condenser coil (located outside) where it is converted to a liquid. Then the refrigerant travels back indoors (usually in the basement, attic or utility room) and enters the evaporator coil. Here the liquid refrigerant evaporates, and cools the indoor coil. A fan blows indoor air across the cold evaporator coil where the heat inside the home is absorbed into the refrigerant. The cooled air is then circulated throughout the home while the heated evaporated gas is sent back outside to the compressor. The heat is then released into the outdoor air as the refrigerant returns to a liquid state. This cycle continues until your home has reached the desired temperature.

Life Expectancy of Central Air Conditioning: On average, the condenser unit located outside has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. However, proper maintenance and repairs can extend this timeframe, ensuring years of reliable cooling performance.

Forced Air Furnace: Warming Hearts and Homes

In the chilly embrace of winter, a forced air furnace becomes the comforting hearth around which family gatherings and cozy evenings revolve. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Understanding Forced Air Furnaces: A forced air furnace uses gas, oil, or electricity to generate heat, which is then distributed throughout your home via ductwork. It’s a reliable and efficient way to keep your home warm and comfortable during cold weather.

Life Expectancy of Forced Air Furnaces: Forced air furnaces typically last between 20 to 25 years, with proper maintenance and care. Routine inspections and repairs can help maximize the lifespan of your furnace and ensure consistent heating performance.

Importance of Changing Filters: The air filter in your forced air furnace serves as a barrier against airborne particles, including dust, pet dander, and allergens. By regularly changing filters, you can prevent these contaminants from circulating in your home, maintain indoor air quality, and prolong the lifespan of your furnace.

Conclusion: Nurturing Your Home’s Vital Organs

Your HVAC system, comprised of central air conditioning and forced air furnace, is the lifeblood of comfort and well-being in your home. By understanding the unique characteristics and maintenance requirements of each component, you can ensure their optimal performance and longevity.

Regularly changing air filters is a simple yet essential task that can have a significant impact on the efficiency, lifespan, and indoor air quality of your HVAC system. Make it a priority to schedule filter changes according to manufacturer recommendations, and enlist the help of qualified professionals for routine inspections and maintenance.

Be sure to find out the approximate age of your heating and cooling systems during your home inspection so you are not caught off guard when it comes time to replace them. Signs of rust and oxidization in and outside the furnace cabinets, along the refrigerant lines and on the condenser may be indications that it will soon be time to replace the units.

For Home Inspections in the great state of New Jersey, contact High Point Home Inspection.

Jonathan Moses

High Point Home Inspection

Lic# 24GI00170700


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