Proper heating of the house is one of the most important concerns for homeowners. A heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) system is a major investment and should be given adequate thought before purchasing as it is an essential part of a comfortable home.
Unfortunately, most people are daunted by heating systems because they’re perceived as overly complicated. So how do you know which HVAC system is right for you? Here are some tips to help make the process a little bit easier.
Your financial requirements will have a direct effect on your choice of HVAC. Those with a smaller budget will be better off sticking to the basic types of heating systems, while a liberal budget will allow expenditure on a wider range of features.
For example, if you have a big budget, you can invest in features such as a filtration system, humidification, radiant floor heating and a generally better-quality HVAC. It is also advisable to investigate if the solar or wind-powered equipment is offered in your area as they will enable HVAC systems to offer better return-on-investment in the long term.
2. Size Matters
A bigger HVAC system isn’t necessarily a better one. If your system has a high heating capacity, it can make the system inefficient. A system that is too large will lead to frequent on and off cycles, leading to increased wear and tear of the various components of the HVAC. This, in turn, will lead to frequent maintenance rounds and,therefore, greater costs overall. Conversely, if the HVAC is too small, it can be extended to heat or cool additional spaces.
3. Value for Money
An expensive HVAC system usually comes with a longer warranty period and will prove worthy of the investment in the long term. A high-quality furnace, boiler or heat pump can be guaranteed for anywhere between twenty and thirty years. Along with the price of your HVAC system, see how much it will cost to install the system.
Also factor in long-standing expenses such as maintenance costs. A highly efficient product may come with high initial costs, but the long-term expenses will be low, making it an affordable option for the smart buyer. When buying a new HVAC system, remember the saying, “You get what you pay for.”
Check the manufacturer’s warranty when purchasing an HVAC system. This warranty should cover all the parts in the HVAC, including the heat flow meter, while the contractor’s warranty should cover the labor costs involved in repairing the product at a later time.
When purchasing a new HVAC system, choose a brand that offers end-to-end services. This means purchasing from companies that design, install and service the system. Consulting friends and family, and seeking recommendations from other people who have installed such systems will guarantee an honest review of companies.
When asking for recommendations, inquire about the company’s technicians and the time taken by the contractor to respond to emergencies. Ask how well the system performed while under the care of the company and how quickly customer service responded when you contacted them with problems.
The three major ratings to be aware of when choosing a new HVAC system are:
- Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): This measurement indicates the efficiency of the gas or the oil-fired furnace. A higher rating indicates better heating efficiency. Pick a furnace that offers an AFUE rating of at least 78% as this is the minimum requirement stipulated by the US Department of Energy.
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): This rating tells you how efficient your heat pump is. A higher figure indicates a more efficient heat pump. The most efficient pumps have a rating of 13+. If a heat pump has a rating of 8.2 or more, it will also have energy stars on the label.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): This rating indicates how energy-efficient a heat pump is. A higher rating means that the system uses less energy. The most energy-efficient systems are rated 30+. If a heat pump has a rating of 14 or more, it will come with energy stars on the label.
Whether you are purchasing your first heating-ventilation-air conditioning system or simply replacing an old one, it is important to keep the above points in mind to avail the best deal. Your decision has the power to affect how the comfort level of your home, not just today but also for the foreseeable future.