If you want to purchase an HVAC system, the prudent starting point is consulting with an HVAC contractor who can help you make the best choice for your home. A heating and air conditioning system is probably the most costly and complex system in your home, and the guidance that an HVAC expert can provide is invaluable.
Going by the size of your current HVAC equipment can lead you to the wrong size system when you purchase an HVAC system. Most of the time you can install a smaller unit that will cost you less to both buy and operate. Contractors use a protocol called Manual J that measures the heating and cooling loads in your home by considering these factors:
- Cubic footage of conditioned space;
- Insulation levels throughout your home;
- Number of windows, their efficiency and exposure to sunshine;
- Outdoor landscaping;
- Ductwork distribution and efficiency;
- Heat-producing appliances under roof and lighting factors;
- Air infiltration;
- Number of occupants; and
- Lifestyle factors.
After you know the size you need, the contractor will walk you through the energy efficiency of your home's equipment, which will differ based on their internal components. When you purchase an HVAC system to replace an older one, it likely will be more energy efficient, even if it just meets the minimum efficiency ratings required by the federal EPA.
Putting in heating and cooling equipment requires a licensed contractor. Manufacturers will not honor warranties if the installation wasn't done by an authorized contractor. Some of the wiring is high-voltage and the refrigerants require licenses to handle. These systems require precise tuning to operate at their most efficient.
Your new system requires ongoing maintenance, some of which you can do, like keeping the filters and outdoor compressor clean. Technicians have to perform periodic servicing to make sure all the connections are tight and clean and the refrigerant pressure is within a few ounces of the manufacturer's specifications.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. can help you select the right HVAC system for your home. We've been providing heating, cooling and plumbing services to Mid-Ohio homeowners since 1965.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about purchasing an HVAC system and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.