Your central heating and cooling system is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make for your home. It’s a long-term investment in your daily comfort and can even increase your home’s value. That being said, there’s a lot more to consider than the price tag when shopping for an HVAC system replacement.
Below, we’ll walk you through some of the key considerations you should make before purchasing a new heating and air conditioning system.
1. What heating and cooling challenges does your home have now?
Take a look at any issues you’re experiencing with your current HVAC system. For instance, does the system struggle to heat or cool all parts of your home evenly? Does it cost a fortune to keep your home at your ideal temperature? Are some parts of your home uncomfortably warm while other parts are almost too cold?
If you’re dealing with these problems now, it may not make sense to replace your HVAC system with the same type you had before. You may want to consider equipment that can run at more than one speed or that’s compatible with a zone control system. In some cases, a new system might not be necessary. Your current system might just be overdue for routine maintenance. You might also solve hot and cold spots in your home by sealing air leaks, updating your insulation, or even installing more energy-efficient window attachments.
2. How much would you like to lower your energy bills?
If you’ve determined that you definitely need a new HVAC system, it’s essential to factor in energy efficiency. Generally, heaters and air conditioners are manufactured to operate more efficiently than they used to. According to the Department of Energy, even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you can save around 20 to 40 percent of your cooling costs by replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Even so, if you own a large home or plan on using your HVAC system frequently, those heating and cooling costs can add up. That’s why many homeowners opt to install variable speed units or heat pumps, many of which are ENERGY STAR certified. For instance, heat pumps can reduce your electricity use by around 50 percent if you’re currently using a furnace or baseboard heater.
If you’re shopping for an air conditioner, the Department of Energy recommends looking for a unit with these characteristics to achieve optimal energy savings:
A thermal expansion valve and a high-temperature rating (EER) greater than 11.6. This allows for high-efficiency operation during extreme outdoor temperatures.
A variable speed air handler. An AC that can run at variable speeds will reduce the temperature fluctuations in your home, allowing the system to keep your home consistently comfortable while using less energy.
A unit that operates quietly. (You have to be able to hear the game while it’s running!)
A fan-only switch. This lets the system circulate conditioned air throughout your home without actively cooling the air, which can help you feel comfortable without increasing your energy costs.
A filter check light. This will turn on to remind you to change your system’s filter after a certain number of operating hours.
An automatic-delay fan switch. This turns the AC’s fan off a few minutes before the system’s compressor shuts off, which is another way to create energy savings.
3. How do you choose the right HVAC system installer?
Reputable HVAC contractors understand that your HVAC system is an investment for you, and they want to help you make the best choice possible to meet your needs. Many times, the best and most highly recommended contractors in the area won’t give you the cheapest bid (although sometimes it happens). This is because they invest time and money into hiring and training professional team members who put an emphasis on quality workmanship over a quick fix or hard sell.
Look for an HVAC contractor that listens to your heating and cooling needs and gives you options. You should never feel rushed to make a purchasing decision, and you should feel like the business is able to answer all of your questions. The initial consultation should be a comfortable process that provides you with the information you need to make your decision and feel good about it.
Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC was founded in 1999 with the specific goal of achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction and excellence in service. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how we can assist you with your HVAC system replacement: (770) 268-2422.