Keeping a home at a constant temperature is one of those challenges that each and every homeowner will have to face at some point. Finding the balance between the cost of an air conditioning system and functionality can be a task that leads to confusion – given the many choices that are available to cool and heat the home. However, careful consideration – and in many instances consulting with an expert, can make the choice of the system – and installation that much easier. This technician will be able to answer questions about the best HVAC system for your home, taking into account the unique characteristics of the space, as well as your budgetary concerns.
However, in order to be able to understand the complexities – and ask intelligent questions of that experienced technician a working knowledge of the ins and outs of HVAC systems would be useful.
Here are a few things that every homeowner should know when deciding on the installation of an HVAC system – or having a reputable company with professional technicians carry out repairs to an existing installation.
One of the first things that every homeowner needs to make sure of (in close consultation with a technician) is if the output of the HVAC system can cope with the heating and cooling requirements of the home. The technician should be able to supply you with reviews of the system and how it performs in the real world. Marketing claims are sometimes always as accurate as one might like – but reviews from real people tend to give one peace of mind. If in doubt – go online.
One of the ways that the homeowner can judge the output of the HVAC system is to take a look at the BTU (British Thermal Unit Rating). To put it simplistically input capacity is the amount of gas that the unit will be using and output capacity is the amount of heat that will be generated. Newer units have lower input BTU rating due to the fact that they are more efficient at generating heat. generally – the higher the BTU rating the more heat the unit is capable of generating. Make sure that you can tell the difference between input and output.
Installing a suitable new HVAC system is not as simple as measuring the square footage of the home. there are actually complex calculations involved. Your experienced HVAC technician will be able to perform these calculations to arrive at the best and most cost effective solution for you and your family. Make sure that they are not simply replacing an old unit with a unit of similar capacity – they need to perform those calculations. If the wrong size HVAC system is installed – or it does not have the capacity to operate efficiently it will inevitably lead to problems. Too big and that will lead to increased costs due to excessive energy requirements – too small and the system will be overstressed and not operate at peak efficiency.
Another important factor to take into account is energy efficiency. According to the United States Department of Energy around 50% of the energy we use in our homes is devoted to cooling and heating. A prudent approach to energy savings can have a significant impact on the family bank account. Air conditioners (AC units) use a rating called a ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)’. The higher the SEER rating the more energy efficient the air conditioning system will be. Heat pumps use a rating system called ‘Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)’ – once again, the higher the number the higher the energy efficiency. Each system comes with an EnergyGuide Label. Ask the technician to fully explain the labeling system prior to deciding which system is best for your needs. Always remember that any HVAC system must be installed by a professional in order to perform at its highest level of energy efficiency.
Another important consideration when purchasing an HVAC system is noise levels – which are measured in decibels (db). The ideal system will clock in at under 60 db. Make sure that you will be able to live with the possible disturbance when the system is running at full capacity.
It is of the utmost importance that the homeowner identifies a company that provides high-quality HVAC service and installation expertise. Get an estimate based on the considerations above – do further research and make sure that the company provides affordable, best-in-class products and a technician who will provide that invaluable advice and expert service.