When you’re residing in an area where extreme weather is common, a good heating and cooling system should be a staple in every home. Whether buying a new home or just changing an old system, you need to have a certain knowledge of what to look for. After all, it’s your family’s comfort that you have to take care of.
HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are the ones that make your home livable under extreme temperatures, like summer and winter. When choosing these items, you need to look into a lot of factors, such as brands, the size of your home, and the kind of system that’s right for your family’s needs.
If you’re new for buying HVAC system, read more below for some of the recommendations on what to look for when shopping around!
Tips for Buying Heating and Cooling System
01. Consider Energy Ratings of Cooling and Heating System
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re going to get the best and the most efficient system is knowing about energy ratings and what they actually mean. You may have been seeing the Energy Star label and wondered what it is for.
Energy Star is the standard in the US in terms of the product’s energy-efficiency. For an appliance to have this label, it should be around 10% more efficient than the standard set by the government.
In addition, consider those that have higher federal regulated seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This measures how efficient the system operates over the whole season. So, regardless of whether you’re looking at SEER or EER (energy efficiency rating), always buy the one with the higher number.
However, relying on SEER alone can be more expensive since two-thirds of the temperatures used to compute it are 82 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Naturally, you don’t usually use your air conditioning at these quite cold temperatures. So, always go for the EER rating as it’s the better measure between the two.
02. Equipment Size Your Home Needs
Proper equipment size is an essential component when installing the system to ensure that you get the comfort and savings that you direly need. When the system is too small, you’ll sacrifice luxury as the system will not be able to supply enough comfort despite the equipment running round the clock.
However, when it’s too big, it would be an overkill in terms of the cost of the system and skyrocketing utility bills, not to mention poor humidity and uneven temperature.
The factors that would affect your choice as to the size and capacity that your home needs are the square footage of the area that needs heating or cooling, the exterior exposure, and the duct system design of your house. All of these should be considered at the same time, as basing it with just one of these may not be effective.
03. Types of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems Your Home Needs
Heating system capacity is represented by the British Thermal Unit (BTU). On the other hand, cooling capacity is measured by Ton. Each Ton is equivalent to 12,000 British Thermal Unit Per Hour (BTUh).
When planning to purchase a new HVAC system, sometimes, you tend to target just about anything as long as it gets the job done. Little did you know that the type of HVAC would play an important role in maximizing its benefits.
A professional HVAC contractor, like Fredericksburg VA Heating and Cooling company, will be able to advise you on what type of system is suitable for home if you’re from the Virginia area.
The four major types of HVAC systems are as follows:
a) Split Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
These are the most common type you can see in homes and can be easy to recognize because of the presence of indoor and outdoor units. These works by having the cooling unit outside, which comprises of compressors and coils, and a heater that’s typically placed in storage space, typically in the basement.
b) Hybrid Heat Split Systems
These are basically the same as the above type, except for some basic differences – around their ability to be more cost-efficient.
This can be achieved through their special feature wherein they can be switched between gas and electric power and vice versa, depending on the quality of cooling or heating you need.
c) Ductless Split Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
These are usually the more expensive type, but definitely more economical in the long run. This is because these individual units allow for more independent control for each room, thereby allowing you to minimize the utility bills, unlike centralized systems.
d) Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning Systems are all-in-one systems that supply both cooling and heating in one “package.” These units sit on the ground or rooftop outside of your home. You will most likely see these at the attic.
If you have limited space in your house, these will be a better choice. However, they’re more applicable in places with warmer climates.
04. Brand to Buy
With a lot of brands in the market, all of which offer what they claim as the best there is, it’s easy to get confused, worse, to believe in everything they say. Although, they can be of real quality, claiming to be the best can be quite a stretch.
If you’re really aiming to get the very best, stick with a brand that only makes HVAC appliances. The principle behind this is simple, you cannot serve more than one God equally.
By having only a single product to produce and sell, manufacturers have the undivided attention of bringing the best product to offer, can give you the best after-sales service, and can offer the best warranty.
05. Code Requirements for Heating and Cooling System
These pertain to the building code, permits, and licenses that are legal requirements every household installing HVAC systems should have. The requirements are dependent on each jurisdiction’s regulations.
Professionals can take care of the technical requirements to make sure your system complies with them. These can be determined through the amount of insulation and the size and layout of the house.
Investing in a cooling and heating system can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know anything about the important factors there is to know. Since you and your family’s comfort and possibly health are on the line, deciding without proper knowledge can be more of a problem rather than a solution.
Whenever in doubt, ask the expert. You could never go wrong with this.