Shopping around for a new HVAC system? If your system is broken, 15 years or older, or repairs will cost more than half of replacement, it’s a good time to consider a system upgrade. But where do you even start? Look for these five key features when choosing a new heating and cooling option for your home.
1. Energy Efficiency
If you’ve had your air conditioner or furnace for 10-20 years, HVAC technology has changed significantly. Depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115.
SEER, HSPF, AFUE and EER are different rating methods designed to tell you what to expect from the HVAC system in terms of energy-efficiency. Generally, the higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner or furnace.
If you leave home for long periods of the day and you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider installing one when you upgrade your system. Talk to your One Hour Air technician about modernizing your home’s thermostat. We install programmable and Wi-Fi models. We’ll even assess your current thermostat for compatibility issues if your HVAC system is struggling to regulate your home’s temperature.
3. Sizing and Specs
Don’t purchase a system before you’ve assessed it it will fit your home. While central heating and cooling is generally the most efficient option, it’s not always the most practical for rentals units or additions. Housing and zoning rules and regulations, home electric voltage limitations, and other factors could impact your HVAC installation. Some homeowners opt for ductless mini split systems or window air conditioners. Talk to a certified HVAC technician to choose the right type of HVAC system for your home.
4. The Right Type of Refrigerant
Pay attention to refrigerant type when choosing your new HVAC system. R-22, the most common type of refrigerant, is being phased out and will not be produced after 2020. If you bought a new AC system within the past few years, your AC may use R-410A and you’ll be in the clear. But what if your system is old? If you need future repairs on a system with outdated R-22, it will be increasingly more expensive to maintain. Consider upgrading to a new, energy-efficient AC system to save on their cooling bills and on refrigerant.
5. Technicians and Support
Last but not least, think hard about who will install and maintain your system for years to come. Look for an HVAC company who will guarantee their work is correct or who will correct it for free. That is the sign of a trustworthy technician. Less-than-trustworthy HVAC companies seek to cash in every way they can, including return visits for work they didn’t do right the first time. You can know that a HVAC technician — or any tradesmen — has your back when they put their money where their mouth is, ensuring their work is 100% correct. Be sure that company accepts all forms of payments. Paying with a major credit card gives a consumer additional protections (that cash and check do not) after the work is complete.