HVAC systems that are more than 10 years old can lead to costly repairs and a home that is either too hot or too cold. Before the repair bills start piling up, consider calling an HVAC professional to evaluate your current system. A replacement system that is Energy-Star rated can save you $200 annually on your energy bill. This quick guide will provide you with pertinent information on upgrading your home HVAC system.
Before Changing Systems
The first thing you should do when deciding whether to upgrade is check for leaks in your house. Head to the attic and keep an eye out for dirty insulation. These dirty spots indicate where air is flowing through the insulation and out of your house. Next, go to the basement and check for gaps between the concrete foundation and the wood frame. If you encounter any leaks, call a contractor to fix them for you. A contractor is also a good option if you if have bad ductwork in your home, as the air could be escaping through the ducts.
Choosing a New System
A new HVAC system will reduce your energy costs and improve the reliability of your unit. When selecting a new system, it’s important to consider where you live. For most people in the U.S., the best unit will be a combination of a natural gas furnace for heating and an electric unit for cooling. If you live somewhere with a moderate climate, an air-source heat pump might be the way to go. Replacing the furnace or air conditioner only can remedy some of your problems, but replacing the whole unit at once will save you money on labor in the long run. Choose an Energy-Star model, as they are generally 15% more efficient than standard units.
Benefits of a New HVAC System
A central air handler in newer models allows you to regulate the humidity of your home, which will especially help in the spring when the pollen count is high. A heat pump can be placed anywhere in your home without having to cut holes in your roof, which minimizes installation fees. An all-electric heat pump is safer because they don’t use flammable gas and there is no carbon-monoxide buildup. An upgrade will give you much greater control when cooling and heating your home, and you can set it turn on or off depending on when you’re home. An energy-efficient heating system has an efficiency output of 97%, compared to an older furnace that has an output of 56-70%.
Contact a Professional
Pick a contractor that has good references and is licensed and insured. Upgrading an HVAC system is a job that should be left to the experts. An improperly installed unit can reduce efficiency up to 30%, which is the money you could be saving by installing in a new unit. Ensure your unit is properly upgraded with the help of an HVAC professional.