New Homeowners Heating & Cooling Buying Guide
Brooklyn NY has seen a 37% increase in home sales in the last ten years; people are figuring out that owning a home in BK cost less than paying rent in Manhattan.
100s of new customers are having lots of problems with the Heating and cooling systems.
If you are buying the home during the Winter months, it’s essential to have a signed contract with the seller that if the current Cooling system does not work during the hot summer months, they will cover the repair bills, because we can’t inspect the cooling system during the winter.
The first steps we recommend have us or a professional HVAC provider do a full inspection of all the following mechanical equipment:
- Water Boilers, Controls, and sensors
- Heating and cooling system
- Outdoor Condenser Unit
- Indoor Air-Handlers
- Ductless or Ducted Mini-Split system should be checked for leaks and proper operation
- Air Filters
- Correct Ductwork sizing
- Check for Mechanical use permits in all Commercial and residential places
- Ask for the last ten years of maintenance and repairs history and the service provider
- 16 Check if you have enough power to add a new HVAC system if you plan to install one
If you already own the home here are some tips to help you with maintaining your mechanical systems.
- Change your air filters regularly.
- Be sure to avoid blocking floor, wall or ceiling vents.
- Make sure your outside condensing unit isn’t covered or clogged with leaves or debris.
- 5 Check to make sure the drainage system isn’t clogged.
- Don’t run your system in cooling mode when outdoor temperatures are lower than 55° F or 13° C.
- Have a expert clean your indoor coil regularly.
- 6 Check for water at the base of your outdoor unit. Water likely means the support base has shifted since installation and is no longer level.
- 55 Consider sealing or insulating your ducts.
- 45 Confirm that the furnace/boiler turns on and off via your thermostat by setting the temperature higher than the current indoor temperature and setting the system to heat mode.
- 8 Check the temperature of air supply grates or radiant system to ensure you’re able to feel warmth.
- 21 If you have an older thermostat that could have mercury switches, clean and level it to ensure it works properly.
Check all visible wiring and electrical connections for signs of damage like burns, unraveling wires and loose nuts.
- 10 Check vent connection pipe and chimney for rust or gaps. (Venting systems can deteriorate over time.)
- 23 If you have a gas or oil furnace, make sure you have a clean air filter in the proper size.
- When you restart your system each fall, you might consider an inspection of the burners, combustion area, venting and even flame appearance.
IF YOUR SYSTEM ISN’T RUNNING:
11 Check to make sure your control or thermostat is set in cooling mode. Make sure the temperature is set cooler than the current indoor temperature.
67 If it isn’t, your system won’t know to provide cooling.
88 Make sure your outdoor condensing unit is running. If it is not running, make sure the breakers in your home’s breaker box or electrical panel are in the ON position.
12 Check the main power switch for your outdoor unit, usually found within a few feet of the unit in a box mounted to the exterior of the house. Make sure it’s in the ON position.
Ensure that the blower motor in your furnace or fan coil is running. 54 If the system is set for cooling, the blower motor should be running. If not, check to make sure your indoor unit switch is in the ON position.
IF YOUR SYSTEM ISN’T COOLING ENOUGH:
1 Check the filter for buildup. If you have one-inch-thick furnace filters, a once-a-month change is recommended. Two-inch-thick filters – and other high-capacity pleated filters – usually only need to be changed every other month, depending on the type. If you don’t change it, the filter will eventually block the proper airflow and cause your outdoor air conditioner unit to shut down.
2 Check all return air grilles to make sure they are not blocked. Return air grilles are larger and are located on a wall or the ceiling in newer homes. Older homes frequently have return air grilles on the floor.
3 Check all supply registers to make sure they are open and blowing air.
4 If you still don’t feel the flow of cool air or your system is under-delivering, it’s time to contact us for expert service.
OTHER SIGNS THAT INDICATE A SERVICE CALL MAY BE IN ORDER:
- Your system is struggling to keep up and seems to be turning itself on and off frequently.
- 99 Your indoor summer humidity levels seem unusually high.
- You hear your indoor-unit fan coming on, but the air from the registers isn’t cool or the fan is turning on and off more frequently than usual. NOTE: If your system control has a “Constant ON” feature, you will not always feel the warmth, even though air may be blowing.