New Homeowner Plumbing and HVAC Checklist

Moving into a new home can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for first-time homeowners. After all, the last thing any new homeowner wants is to discover there’s a problem with their air conditioning in the dead of summer, or a leak in their plumbing that starts gushing in the middle of the night. In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive checklist to help you start your time in your new home off on the right foot and avoid any unwelcome surprises from your plumbing and HVAC systems.

Assess your windows

It may not seem like it, but your windows can have a large impact on the temperature of your home, as well as the efficiency of your HVAC system. You should know the R-value of your windows, which determines the thermal efficiency of the glass, to ensure that you don’t unknowingly end up spending extra on your utility bills to offset the heat lost by your windows.

If the windows in your new home have a low R-value, it may be worth considering having replacement windows installed. Embarking on a home improvement project right after you move in can seem daunting, but the payoff will be worth it. You’ll benefit with years of savings on your utility bills and avoid common problems like drafty windows. Additionally, the lifespan of your HVAC system will likely be extended as it won’t have to work as hard to heat and cool your home.

If you can’t commit to having replacement windows installed, you can address window drafts and heat loss in a variety of different ways. Weather stripping and window caulking can easily be installed as a DIY job, while shades and curtains can physically prevent air from escaping and keep your home comfortable.

Inspect your plumbing

Inspecting your plumbing as soon as you move in can help you avoid any emergency situations in the future. Many small problems can go unnoticed by homeowners until it’s too late. Take a look at the visible pipes in your home—including the ones found under the sinks and behind appliances and toilets. They should be free of leaks, cracks, and rust. Also, locate the water shutoff valves for each fixture in your home, and make sure they function. Additionally, you should ensure that you know the answers to the following questions:

  • Is your home connected to city sewage, or does it use a septic field or holding tank?
  • Does water come from the city, or do you have a well?
  • Do you have hard water?
  • Does the water pressure seem sufficient?

If you can’t determine the answers to any of these questions, it’s time to call a plumber. Not only will a plumber be able to tell you the specifics of your home’s plumbing system, but they’ll also be able to address any problems you’ve noticed that may need fixing. For example, if you take a look at your pipes and notice a minor leak, it’s best to bring it to the attention of a plumber before it gets worse.

Learn about your HVAC system

As a homeowner, you should know the basics of your HVAC system. Different systems have different maintenance and operation requirements—for example, if your system includes ductwork you’ll likely need to have your ducts cleaned annually.

Questions you should know the answer to regarding your HVAC system include:

  • Does your furnace use propane, natural gas, or electricity to heat your home?
  • Do you have a split system or a packaged system?
  • Is the system ductless, or does it include ductwork?
  • When was the last time the system had a maintenance check?
  • Who is the manufacturer, and what is their warranty?

It all can seem a little overwhelming, which is why it is helpful to consult the experts. We recommend you call an HVAC company to inspect your system after you move in, ideally prior to the summer season. While the technician is there, you can ask them about all the details of your system.

Have your air ducts cleaned

Often, homeowners don’t think much about their air ducts. After all, they’re located in the attic or other hard to reach places and are largely inaccessible. However, air ducts are an important part of an HVAC system and should be properly maintained.

The buildup of dust and debris in your air ducts can impact the efficiency of your HVAC system, as well as indoor air quality. Starting off with clean air ducts can help keep the air in your new home as clean as possible. If you or a family member have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, clean ducts should be a priority. Air ducts should only be cleaned by a trained professional, to avoid injury.

Check the thermostat

Since air conditioning is so important during the Arizona summers, it’s important to know the ins and outs of your home’s thermostat controls. While many thermostats are straightforward, some may have unique controls that could take some getting used to. Make sure you know how to run the system, as well as the basics of setting a temperature.   

If your home doesn’t already have one, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Compared to manual thermostats that only let you set one temperature at a time, a programmable thermostat is equipped to let you set the temperature for different times of the day. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a specific temperature for when you’re at home or away, reducing the amount of energy that’s used when you’re not home.

Get to know your local HVAC companies

While you’re meeting your neighbors, you should also get to know the HVAC companies that service your area. In some cases, the builder of your home, or the previous owner, can recommend a company for you to work with for maintenance and any possible repairs. Online databases such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America can also be helpful for narrowing down quality contractors that are local to you.

How Chas Roberts can help

Millions of Phoenix homeowners trust Chas Roberts for HVAC and plumbing services. With over 75 years of experience, it’s easy to see why. Our skilled technicians are trained to offer top of the line repair, replacement, and maintenance services. Our emergency services mean that we’re always there when you need us, 365 days a year. To top it all off, we have the industry knowledge and know-how to bring our customers the best possible experience. Whenever problems strike or questions arise, contact Chas Roberts for all your HVAC and plumbing needs.