Having a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system installed in your home is a major decision to make. Not only is it an investment for your property, but it can also affect your and your family’s overall comfort.
The last thing you’ll want to happen is to suffer indoors because of the scorching heat during summer or the freezing cold in winter. And on top of looking for equipment of the best quality, you have to be certain that the option you’ll go for won’t cause your monthly energy consumption to skyrocket.
Given that there are so many HVAC system models, brands, sizes, and features out there, selecting one shouldn’t be done overnight. You have to think this through and make sure your final choice is backed by adequate information. Your research can begin right here. Here are some of the things you should do when choosing the most suitable HVAC system for your home:
Calculate Your Home’s HVAC System Needs
No matter how advanced or efficient its features are, an HVAC system won’t deliver good results if you don’t get the one that meets the exact needs of your home. The general rule is that the bigger your home, the more powerful your system has to be. However, you have to determine the appropriate size or dimensions for your property. Install one that’s too big and you’ll only be wasting its capacity and energy, and if you acquire one that’s too small, you’ll be underpowering your home.
This is where you have to rely on professional contractors like those from DM Select Services. They can take accurate measurements to give your home what it truly needs. This begins with calculating your home’s HVAC load, which depends on factors like:
Size or square footage
Number, placement, and size of rooms
Your property’s orientation to the sun
Number, placement, and size of doors and windows
Types of doors and windows you have
Climate in your location
Check The HVAC Ratings
There are HVAC rating systems you have to be aware of. Be sure to ask the supplier or the sales representative about each rating so you can take note of all of them and compare the brands you’re choosing from to find the one with the best numbers.
With that said, these are the three ratings you should be mindful of:
Seasonal efficiency energy ratio (SEER): This is used to measure heat pump and energy efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the HVAC equipment is. A good brand is one with at least 30+ SEER rating, with energy sticker stars.
Average fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE): When you’re using a gas or oil furnace, the AFUE is used to measure its efficiency. A fuel-efficient furnace is one with a minimum rating of 78%. Like SEER, the general rule for AFUE rating is the higher the rating, the higher the efficiency.
Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF): For your heat pumps at home, be on the lookout for the HSPF rating. Like the first two ratings, a higher number for this signifies that the equipment consumes or requires less energy to function. A good brand should be a heat pump with a 13+ rating, accompanied by energy sticker stars.
It’s important to choose an HVAC system with such ratings for reasons like the following:
It’ll bring you greater comfort.
It’ll likely have a longer life span.
It may reduce your utility bills.
It may have a higher percentage of running time.
It’ll save more energy in the long run.
Look Into Central Air Conditioning
It’s not entirely necessary to have central air conditioning throughout your home. This is especially true if the temperature rarely goes above 85 degrees Fahrenheit where you reside. But if you want an option that’s more reliable than a window unit and can cool multiple rooms at once, it’ll do you a world of good to have a central air conditioner.
Today, many realtors and real estate investors consider the availability of a central air conditioning system as a unique selling point. This is an advantage for every homeowner in the event that one day they decide to sell their property. Having a centralized air conditioning system is one of those upgrades that’ll undoubtedly increase your home’s value.
Apart from those economic advantages, centralized air conditioning systems provide health benefits for those who are sensitive to dust and similar allergens. Modern units have filters, so the air inside your home will be cleaner and healthier particularly for those with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory conditions.
Ask About The Warranty
As much as possible, choose an HVAC system manufacturer and installer with a generous warranty offer. That’ll allow you to save on out-of-pocket expenses should your HVAC system require major repairs in the future.
Typically, there are two types of warranties that can come with an HVAC unit: an air conditioning contractor’s warranty and a manufacturer’s warranty. The former covers the labor expenses incurred during the repair. The latter covers the equipment itself and all of the parts included in the entire HVAC system.
To prevent yourself from getting a system with a warranty that doesn’t exist in the first place, be sure to ask for a document that proves the authenticity of the warranty. If the company can’t or won’t provide it, take that as a sign to work with another establishment.
Decide Between A Packaged AC And A Split Ductless AC
The HVAC system in a home is made out of different units such as those for heating and those for air conditioning. With the latter, there two general types you can choose from: packaged air conditioning and split ductless air conditioning. Each has their respective pros and cons, it’s up to you to select the one that meets your unique needs and preferences.
A split ductless AC has two units, one on the inside and another placed outside. Here are some of the things you should take into account before settling on this type:
The advantages of a split ductless AC are that it doesn’t require any duct work; it can be conveniently installed in different rooms; it’s safer than a window unit since the hole required for it isn’t as big; and there are no energy costs lost due to the ducts.
Its disadvantages are that it may be more expensive to install, and it might only be able to provide limited heating, especially during the colder months.
With a packaged AC system, the compressor, condenser, and evaporator are all placed in one cabinet, usually on the house’s roof. It also comes with its own set of perks and drawbacks.
A packaged AC system is well spaced and tidy as everything is in one location, and it’s great for homes and buildings with limited space.
However, take note that it’s not as energy-efficient as a split ductless AC.
While you may want to purchase an HVAC system for the best or lowest price possible, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you should skimp on the quality. The option you go for should be reliable and well made, even if it may cost you a little bit more at the onset. The cost savings you’ll get in the long run for having a system that functions smoothly will always be worth the initial cost.
For instance, a high-quality furnace can often last for as long as 20 years before it has to be replaced. On the same note, a good boiler may last for at least 30 years.
Consider The Price
Here comes one of the most important considerations when it comes to any purchase: the price. It’s important to create that perfect balance between quality and cost. Don’t be too fixated on a lower amount and ignore all the other surrounding factors that should shape your decision as to what a good price for an HVAC system is.
Those factors include the following:
The manufacturing company: There are brands whose products are inherently more expensive than others, and it’s often because they’re already household names in the HVAC industry.
The construction and installation: The methods and tools used to install your HVAC system largely depends on your property’s energy efficiency and size.
The project complexity: Simpler units and their installation will naturally cost less than more advanced and complicated HVAC systems, which would have more features to set up.
The unit size: Bigger HVAC systems take longer to install and require more equipment, which can raise your expenses as well.
When the time comes for you to start looking for an HVAC system for your home, be sure to check all the factors that should be involved in your purchasing decision. Those include product quality, brand reputation, your budget, the system’s features and size, and your personal preferences and needs.
Buying an HVAC system is a major step for you as a homeowner. It can spell the difference between having and not having a comfortable and well-ventilated household. Most importantly, with the right one, you’re sure to have a system that’ll last years of continuous use. Refer to the guide above if you’re finding it difficult to weigh your options.