An HVAC system installation is one of the most important home improvement projects. Your HVAC system is one of the most costly items in your home, and it also has the biggest impact on your daily comfort. For that reason, you need to understand what you’re getting into so you can make informed decisions.
Repair vs. Replace Decision
Unless you’re building a new home, you have the choice to repair your existing system or to install a new one. You should consider both your current and future budget. Think about not just what’s the cheapest today but what will save you in the long-run.
- Cost to repair and expected remaining lifespan.
- New installation cost divided by the remaining lifespan.
- Energy savings from switching to a newer model.
- Any needed renovations such as new ductwork or electrical upgrades.
What’s best will depend on your situation. Have your contractor walk you through the costs of both, so you can make a smart decision.
Estimating Your Costs
Your two biggest ongoing costs are energy and maintenance. Newer systems may require less maintenance, but you don’t want to skip on preventive maintenance to keep them working longer.
If you have an older heating and cooling system, it may not be up to today’s efficiency standards. That means you could see a big drop in your energy bills even if you choose a cheaper, less efficient model. And to see if an upgraded, more efficient model is worth the cost, just multiply how much energy you’ll save by your gas or electric rates.
Getting the right size HVAC system requires careful calculations. Bigger isn’t better, and smaller isn’t cheaper. You can only get efficient, even heating and cooling with the right size unit. This depends on a number of factors including the size of your home, your insulation type, and environmental factors such as sun exposure.
Choosing Advanced Features
You may be able to choose from a number of advanced features including smart thermostats, variable speed blowers, and heat recovery ventilation. These are all designed to improve your comfort and can also help reduce your energy costs. Again, do the math to see if the money you’ll save might pay for an add-on you might have skipped otherwise.
Finding the Right Contractor
Your contractor can make or break your HVAC installation. First, you want someone with the knowledge and honesty to walk you through the above steps so that you can make a decision about what’s right for your family rather than being pushed towards what makes the contractor more money. Second, poor work can lead to energy leaks and maintenance issues down the road.
If you want a contractor that’s been satisfying customers since 1959 and guarantees your satisfaction, talk to One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Pittsburgh today.