If it is your first time purchasing your HVAC system, you might find it a little challenging. Imagine looking at different heating and cooling units with different ratings. What do those ratings mean anyway? How will it affect your comfort and long term expenses or energy savings?
Before picking a cooling and heating unit, dig deeper and try to understand those ratings and options that you often see on an HVAC unit. Furthermore, you should at least ask your salesperson about those acronyms and scores and how it will affect your household.
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Understand HVAC Ratings
Here are the standard HVAC ratings that you might see when shopping for one.
- AFUE or Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency – AFUE measures the efficiency of the unit when using gas or oil. A good AFUE rating ranges from 78% to 98.5%. If your unit says 85% AFUE, it means that 85% of the heat produced by your HVAC system is being converted to fuel your home.
- SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – SEER, measures the efficiency of your unit. Efficiency is the needed energy for your unit to work. Does it require more power or less energy? Look for a cooling or heating system with a high SEER rating. A higher SEER rating means less energy consumption. Acceptable SEER rating ranges from 13 to 30.
- HSPF or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor – your HVAC system comes with a heat pump and HSPF is the way to measure its efficiency.
Look for a unit that comes with a higher rating. The acceptable HSPF rating is from 7.7 to 13.
Choose the Size
What size of a heating and cooling system fits your needs and home? Where will you install it? If you already have a place in mind for installation, then you can easily decide on the size. It is best to talk to a professional HVAC system installer. He can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the right size of the unit that can accommodate your home.
Consider the Durability and Service Life
Does brand matter? Yes! Ask your professional installer about the brands they trust. Professional cooling and heating system installers are familiar with the different brands of heating and cooling systems. They are not just installing them; they do repairs too. Hence they are exposed to brands with common problems.
Remember, you get what you pay for, so if you buy a cheap heating and cooling unit system from unknown brands, you might end up calling a repair or maintenance guy from time to time. Consider purchasing an expensive yet quality HVAC system investment. Known brands also offer better warranties, so consider that as well.
Consider the Type of HVAC System to Have
There are four types of heating and cooling systems. You should ask your professional installer of the difference between these four systems before making a purchase.
- Heating and cooling split systems – this kind of system come in two units. One is a cooling system, and the other is a heating system. The cooling system is often placed outdoors while the heating system is indoors (often in the basement). The advantage of using this type of HVAC system is it doesn’t have any requirements for installation.
- Hybrid split type – if you are looking for long-term savings, hybrid split type uses gas and electric power to work. If you want to save energy, you can switch to gas. A hybrid split type is easier to control, allowing the user to conserve energy as much as possible.
- Mini-split or duct-free system – A mini-split system comes with smaller units that are installed in each room. All units are attached to an outdoor compressor. This type of heating and cooling system comes with expensive installation. However, since each unit can be controlled independently, you are looking for bigger savings in the future in terms of energy consumption and monthly bills. With individual controls, you are not wasting energy on the other parts of your home, too, especially when the family is just gathered at a single place like the living room.
- Packaged heating and air system – this all-in-one package system is considered as the old-school heating and cooling system. The single unit is installed indoors and works to heat or cool down the entire home as needed. To use the heating system, it often requires electricity, but for the cooling system, gas is an option.
If you are not sure which HVAC system will work for your home, your professional installer can assess your home design, your family needs, and the weather in your area. He can make recommendations based on these factors. You can also provide your financial capability so you can installer can add it to his considerations.
Now that you are done choosing the best heating and cooling brand for your home, you can just wait for your installer to complete the installation process.
Finding an Installation Company to Trust
Before picking an HVAC system to invest with, you should first start looking for an installation company to trust. Working with a professional from choosing the unit to its installation is highly recommended when it comes to heating and cooling system.
To choose the best professional installer to trust, consider the following questions:
- Do they offer full service – full service means installation, repair, and maintenance work
- Do they have a license to operate – if you are dealing with a company, check their license to operate as a contractor
- Do they have the experience – how long have they been in the business? A good company should be around for at least five years. Younger than five years? You have to reconsider your option
- Do they offer home evaluation – a good contractor doesn’t just give an estimate, they should offer to evaluate your home first and listen to your needs before sharing their recommendations and offers
- Do they have reviews – client feedback is very important. It shows the real service that the company provides. It tells how their contractors do their jobs
- Do they offer warranties – what if the system suddenly starts acting out? Do they offer warranties after installation? For how long?
- Do they provide a contract – the contract should contain everything about the job. The price of the installation, the warranty, the turnaround time, and the additional cost in case some tasks need to be done to successfully install your Bradenton HVAC system. What if they accidentally cut a pipe or damaged something inside your house? Will they pay for it? These things should be on the contract.
Don’t be confused with the different heating and cooling brands in the market today. Armed with the knowledge on how to choose a good HVAC unit and a good contractor, use it to your advantage. Always ask questions from your contractor and your salesperson. Remember, it is an investment that you are about to have, asking questions and doing your research will help you make that wise decision in choosing an HVAC brand for your home.