Spring is the right season to change or upgrade your air ventilation system, because you are not urged with the heating of the house and you can keep your house open for the works needed.
But choosing a wrong HVAC can be both expensive in the beginning and costly to maintain in the long run. Here is a short checklist of things to consider before buying a new ventilation system for your home.
Air conditioning and heating
You won’t install a ventilation system just for the sake of cleaning the air, so you need to evaluate your heating and cooling needs. If local temperatures rarely rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you probably don’t need central air conditioning, but it’s something that rockets your home value in numbers larger that the investment. And that applies to heating too, even if you rarely turn it on in winter.
The only catch could be the ducts and vents that you have now, that must be suited for your new system and might need some upgrade or redo. Ask for a quote for the whole package before make the decision.
Calculate the size
The needs in cooling and heating is called “the load” of the house. Some years ago, it was just a simple calculation of square or cubic footage of spaces, but nowadays is something more accurate.
An real load determination includes construction type and material; sun influence; “R” value of the insulation; size of all the rooms; size of all the windows and doors; thermal efficiency of the house and the climate of the area. And to be even more precise, a complete energy audit can spot points of failure on insulation or thermal efficiency.
But, why bother with that? Because a defective calculation is almost always compensated with a bigger system than is needed, that leads to a bigger -unnecessary- investment, less energy efficiency and larger utility bills. And a smaller equipment will be energy inefficient too, because it will be operating flat out with higher energy consumption.
An HVAC of a wrong size -too big or too small- is always more expensive to maintain.
Do a smart investment
Saving some bucks with your new HVAC is not always smart. Buying high quality equipment with years of warranty might seem costly, but it come with lots of perks that make it the cheaper option in the end.
An air conditioning with higher SEER -a ratio that measures its efficiency- can be object of utility rebates and government incentives, even if buying price grows directly as it’s SEER number. On heating, there are lots of rebates programs on energy efficient equipment upgrade, depending on the fueling selected. Remember that you will need a certified contractor to apply and all the requested paperwork on the work done.
And, naturally, a good, efficient, correctly installed HVAC can save you tons of money on energy bills on the long run. To really save money, always choose the more energy efficient option, even if it seems more expensive at first.
Mind the insulation
Weather for air quality, heating or cooling, the biggest part on the efficiency of your ventilation system is the integrity of your home insulation. We won’t get tired of repeating it, because even a perfectly fine equipment will fails if your home leaks from every crack or your windows are poorly glassed.
Find a contractor that can take care of -or at least knows about- insulation to install your HVAC.
Think about the future
Your air ventilation system will need routine maintenance if everything is fine, and can fail in the most inconvenient moments, so choose an option with local service. Even if you acquire an equipment with a good warranty, the hassle of removing and ship it to repair can be huge and expensive. Research about service, warranty and spare parts of the system proposed by your contractor before make the buy.
With this things in mind and the help of a reliable contractor, an upgrade on your HVAC is a great affordable project, that can save you money and improve your quality of life. If you need further assistance or you have any doubt leave us a comment and we will be happy to help you make the #change4better.
Posted May 08, 2016
by Gabriel Posternak.