Whether you’re a new homeowner buying your first HVAC system or a seasoned homeowner, there are many important things to know before installing a new HVAC system. When choosing a new furnace, heat pump, or package system, it’s important to hire a professional with years of experience and good reviews. But, finding a quality heating and air conditioning specialists is only the first decision to make, choosing the right brand and type of equipment is just a important.
Whoever you decided on hiring, make sure you know what is going into your home, you and your family are the ones who have to live with it for many many years to come. Just like cars and other appliances in your home air conditioning and heating equipment comes in varying styles, pricing, and quality. Make sure you consider and understand a few essential details before purchasing a system.
Here are the top four things you should consider when purchasing a new or replacement system fir your home.
1. Cooling/Heating Size and Capacity
One of the first things you should check is the heating and cooling capacity of your new HVAC system.
Luckily, choosing the right size and capacity of HVAC system is left up to your HVAC contractor. Complicated measurements are used, such as ACCA’s Manual J requirements for properly sizing a unit. Too big and you’ll waste a lot of money and energy; too small, and you’ll overwork your system without ever feeling completely comfortable.
If your HVAC contractor tries to size your new HVAC system based simply on square footage alone, they are doing it wrong. Make sure your HVAC technician fully inspects the home prior to sizing a new system.
2. Energy Efficiency
Heaters and air conditioners consume a significant amount of energy. In fact, around half of our home’s energy use goes toward heating and cooling our home (U.S. Dept. of Energy).
Therefore, it’s important to check the energy consumption of your new HVAC system before purchase. This will help you to save energy and money across your home.
A furnace’s heating efficiency is measured by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The higher the AFUE number, the more efficient the furnace.
An air conditioner, on the other hand, uses Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to measure its energy efficiency. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the air conditioner.
Heat pumps use a rating very similar to SEER, called the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). This number measures the heating portion of the heat pump. Again, the higher the HSPF number, the more efficient the unit.
In order for your new HVAC system to reach the optimum efficiency printed on its Energy Guide Label, a professional contractor will need to properly install it. The energy efficiency ratings mean very little if the unit is improperly installed. Many contractors will also urge you to replace both the heating and cooling systems at the same time. Installing a brand new a/c system connected to an old outdated heating system (or vise versa) will lower the efficiency levels drastically and could even lead to premature breakdowns.
3. Check Noise Levels
Make sure your new HVAC system isn’t creating unnecessary disturbances around your house. Although the HVAC industry has made great strides to reduce HVAC operating sound, check the noise levels of the system before you make a decision. Ask the manufacturer and your installer about noise levels, measured in decibels (db). Look for systems that are under 60 db.
4. Maintenance and Indoor Air Quality
The maintenance of the heaters and air conditioners is crucial for them to work properly for a long period of time. Before you install a new HVAC system, keep in mind that you will need to regularly maintain the unit to keep most manufacturer’s warranties in effect. Neglecting regular maintenance could possibly void almost all system warranties. Signing up for an HVAC maintenance plan is the best way to keep your system happy and running smoothly. And, just as importantly, don’t forget to change your air filter every 30 days.
Additionally, if indoor air quality (IAQ) is a problem in your home, ask your technician about effective ways to improve the air quality. Various IAQ solutions are available, such as thicker air filters, air purification systems, humidification control, and ventilation products. Discuss your IAQ concerns with your contractor before any work begins.
How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?
The best way to find out how much a new heating and/or cooling system will cost is to call a professional. Any company should be able to provide you with a free consultation visit. Unless you have a company that you have been working with prior and fully trust we always suggest you get multiple quotes from different companies before making a decision.
Any reputable company will offer a free onsite estimate when it comes to replacing/installing a new system. If multiple options are not given, ask for at least prices. I always recommend a three tier pricing on all free estimates so you know what the high, low, and middle ground pricing will be for all companies.
R. A. Styron offers free estimates financing options on replacement systems as well as new construction and new installation. Call us at anytime to schedule your consultation with one of our specialists today.