4 Important Things That Matter When Choosing A New Residential HVAC System
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems boost indoor comfort by providing heating, cooling, and quality airflow throughout the year. The market is awash with numerous options for residential HVAC systems; therefore, if you are shopping for a system, it is easy to get overwhelmed. However, if you know the key things that matter in the right system, you can quickly narrow down your options and find the right one for your home. With this in mind, here are four crucial things to consider when choosing a new residential HVAC system.
Type of Construction
The type and age of your home is one crucial determining factor when choosing an HVAC system. Typically, new constructions come with a lot of flexibility, which allows homeowners to invest in their preferred units without incurring additional retrofit costs. For example, in a new home, you can rough in air ducts and vents before the plastering stage.
However, if you have an old home, installing a ducted HVAC system requires costly retrofits. Therefore, your best options are ductless heating and air conditioning systems such as split units and heat pumps. Keep this in mind when shopping for your new unit.
Issues such as inadequate heating and cooling, hot and cold spots, and frequent breakdowns arise when an HVAC system isn't sized to suit the demand. System capacity is a key factor to assess when shopping for your unit. However, the size of your home isn't the only factor that should determine the capacity of your HVAC system. Consider the following factors as well:
- Heat transfer between the walls
- Amount and quality of insulation
- Number and efficiency of the windows
- Number of people in the home
- Height of your ceilings
- Quality of ductwork for ducted systems
Two homes with the same square footage may have different heating and cooling needs due to the above factors. For example, a house with many single-pane windows may suffer heat loss and gain through the windows. Therefore, you need a bigger HVAC system to make up for the loss or gain. Conversely, a home with double-glazed windows is more energy-efficient; thus, it won't require a large heating and cooling system.
Issues such as insulation and the quality of ductwork can also affect the efficiency of the new system. If your ducts are uninsulated, they may lose or gain heat, causing your system to work harder. Therefore, ask your contractor to conduct an in-depth audit of your home to determine the best HVAC capacity to meet your needs.
According to research, heating and cooling systems account for about half of the energy consumed in homes. Therefore, the energy efficiency of an HVAC system can significantly impact your annual energy costs. Air conditioners and heating systems have varying efficiency standards. Therefore, when buying individual units, ensure they comply with the energy efficiency standards prescribed by the Department of Energy. Below are some crucial tips to consider:
- Check the energy efficiency ratio (EER) of heat pumps and split air conditioners. The higher the value, the more energy-efficient the unit is.
- Check the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of furnaces and boilers.
- Ensure that your preferred heating and cooling units have an Energy Star label, which shows compliance with government regulations.
An efficient HVAC system can significantly lower annual heating and cooling costs. Also, compliant systems are durable, and they can save you a lot of money in future repairs.
Different heating and cooling systems have varying maintenance requirements. For example, heat pumps are easier to maintain than gas furnaces. Similarly, ductless systems are low maintenance, while ducted units require regular duct cleaning to maintain air quality. As you choose between gas and electric and ducted and ductless systems, assess their maintenance needs. However, note that all units require annual servicing to optimize performance, boost efficiency, and improve air quality.
Base your choice of an HVAC system on the above factors to get the most value for your money. Contact an HVAC installation company for more information.