HVAC System Buying Guide: What You Need to Know
Are you considering a new HVAC system for your home? This is a big decision — and your technician should be involved! HVAC systems must be carefully tailored to your unique house and your heating/cooling needs, otherwise, the results won't be satisfactory. As you consider what sort of unit you want to buy, here are some of the first things to consider.
Understand What HVAC System You Need
There are three primary HVAC units to consider when installing or upgrading your system. It's important to know the differences between them, and which you are particularly interested in.
Central AC. These are air conditioner units. They typically work by dissipating heat via refrigerant, cooling down inside air and spreading it around the house through a series of ducts. In the average house, the AC unit is split; half is inside with the fan that pushes the air around, and half is outside where the heat can be easily transferred into the outdoor air.
Furnace. A furnace uses a heat source, typically natural gas, LP, electricity, or sometimes still oil, to create heat and push it out around the house. Many homes have both an AC unit and a furnace to use as needed.
Heat Pump. A heat pump uses refrigerant like a central air conditioner, but it can also reverse the process. That means that if the air outside is reasonably warm, it can also heat your home, saving a lot of money on fuel. In very cold climates, heat pumps usually come with an auxiliary heating option as well.
Choose the Right Contractor
It's important to choose a trustworthy contractor who can help you decide on the right unit and install it properly. Look for contractors with certifications like NATE (North American Technician Excellence).
It's also important to find a professional who can conduct a load calculation to see how powerful your HVAC unit needs to be. A full analysis will take into account the size of your home, your windows, the local climate, and more to find out just what size your HVAC system needs to be.
Know Your Current and Target Energy Efficiency Ratings
HVAC systems are typically rated with SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) numbers to show how efficient they are. Today's units typically have SEERs of at least 13. If you have an older unit, you may be able to save lots of energy by upgrading to a significantly higher SEER.
Remember to Study Reviews
Reviews don't tell you everything, but they can still say a lot about what other homeowners have thought about HVAC technicians, popular HVAC brands, and individual models. Don't be afraid to do a little research before you make up your mind!
Pay Attention to Your Ducts Too
Ductwork has a very important job — it carries the heated or cooled air. Ducts need to be clean and free from cracks or holes. If you don't know the state of your ductwork, ask for an inspection that includes a look.
Is it time for a new heating or cooling system in your home? Call us today at Guaranteed Services for a free estimate for a new HVAC unit!