Whether you are an existing homeowner or a new homeowner, purchasing an HVAC system is a significant investment that requires careful consideration. It’s essential to understand HVAC basics such as costs, products, maintenance, and key terms. Keep reading to get up to speed on what you need to know to purchase the best HVAC system for your home.
What is HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It refers to different systems responsible for moving air between the indoors and outdoors. HVAC systems help with heating and cooling single-family homes, apartments, and commercial buildings. They keep you warm and cozy in the winter and cool during the summer months. They maintain acceptable indoor air quality, comfortable temperature and optimal humidity levels. Most people simply refer to these as Heat Pump Systems or Mini Splits.
How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?
The cost of a heating and cooling system varies depending on different factors. This is why it’s essential to schedule an in-home evaluation and customized estimate with an HVAC professional. With that in mind, below are some factors that affect the cost of a new home HVAC system.
Size of Your Home
A larger home will need a bigger HVAC system and vice versa. If the system is too small, it will work harder to heat and cool indoor air. This will compromise its energy efficiency, and the system will wear out sooner.
A home HVAC system that’s too big will create uneven temperatures, maintenance problems, poor humidity control, and loss of energy efficiency. A trusted HVAC dealer can help provide accurate energy analysis and load calculation for your home.
Region and climate matter when it comes to finding the right home HVAC system and saving energy in the long term. The heating and cooling needs of hot and humid areas differ from those of cold regions. The installation costs also vary by as much as 20%, and energy-efficient products attract a higher upfront cost than less efficient ones. Heat pumps designed for Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate can deliver over 200% more heat than an equivalent baseboard heating system.
It’s crucial to ensure that the ducts in your home work with the type of HVAC system you purchase and are properly installed. Improper ductwork can reduce system efficiency, create hot and cold spots, and even contribute to mold growth due to excessive moisture in the air.
Certain accessories can make your HVAC function more efficiently. For instance, a new programmable thermostat can improve temperature control while an electric air cleaner may enhance indoor air quality.
You can expect to pay more for a new HVAC installation if you live in an old home that needs retrofitting. The same is true if the new HVAC is planned for a hard-to-reach place.
Heating and Cooling Products
This type of heating system is powered by gas, oil, propane, or electricity. Most furnaces are powered by natural gas and consist of four main parts – heat exchangers, burners, blowers, and a flue to exhaust gaseous by-products.
This is a great option for those who live in an area with a mild climate. Heat pumps pull heat from the surrounding air to warm the air in winter. They also help with cooling in the summer.
Ductless systems eliminate the need for air ducts, allowing homeowners to create separate HVAC zones with different thermostats. A good example is split systems, which are ideal for add-on areas that don’t have ductwork.
Air conditioning systems take warm air from one area and move it to another. The split system is the most common type of air conditioning system and consists of an indoor evaporator heat exchanger and an outdoor condensing unit heat exchanger.
An air handling unit helps regulate and circulate air as part of an HVAC system. It’s commonly found in heat pumps.
Connected controls integrate with home systems and learn how to heat and cool your home efficiently while traditional thermostats are simpler and may offer programmable features.
Heating and Cooling Terms
Check out the meaning of some common HVAC terminologies:
- AFUE (Annual Fuel Efficiency Ratio)- It measures the efficiency of your heating system. It indicates how much fuel your system uses to heat the home versus how much it loses via the exhaust. A higher AFUE score indicates higher efficiency.
- SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – It measures the amount of energy and electricity your heating and cooling system uses. It is the ratio of the cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the energy used in Watt-Hours. Systems with a higher SEER rating offer more home comfort.
- Energy Star – This is a designation that helps consumers identify high-efficient systems.
- BTU (British Thermal Unit) – It measures the heating, cooling, or dehumidifying capacity of your HVAC system.
- Packaged Systems – They are all-in-one solutions with the components for heating and cooling housed in one cabinet.
- Heating and Cooling Stages – Refers to the number of heating or cooling stages a system offers. A single-stage HVAC system has one stage of heating or cooling output. It runs either at full capacity or not at all – on or off. Multi-stage systems have more than one heating or cooling stage.
The Value of a Seasonal Maintenance Schedule
Whether your air conditioner is new, still under warranty, or over 10 years old, routine maintenance is crucial to ensuring that it continues to function efficiently. It also helps;
- Get ready for the upcoming season
- Detect problems before they escalate to costly repairs or premature replacement of the system
- Extend the life of your HVAC system
You’ll want to schedule maintenance in late summer or early fall if you use a furnace or heat pump. An appointment in early spring or late winter will do for the air conditioner.
When to Repair Vs. Replace Your System
Consider replacing your system if:
- HVAC performance dips
- It requires constant repairs
- The cost of repairs exceeds 50% of the price of a new system
- The unit is more than 15 years old
- Your energy costs are high
Want to Maintain Acceptable Indoor Air Quality? Hire Us for Air Conditioning Installations & Maintenance
Atlantic Standard HVAC is the go-to source for whole-home HVAC systems and in-house financing solutions for Newfoundland and Labrador residents. We offer 1 year of no payments and no interest, and Air Miles Reward Miles for every heat pump purchase!
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As a fully licensed HVAC business, we offer everything you need for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. We offer consultations, installations, and maintenance to ensure all-year-round comfort.
Contact us today for a detailed evaluation of your home’s heating and cooling needs and a free estimate.