Your HVAC system has a major impact on your quality of life. When it needs to be replaced, careful planning is essential for year-round comfort. Having some basic knowledge can help you choose the right equipment for your home and needs.
Understand Your HVAC Installation Options
Before you buy an HVAC system, you should know about all of your options. Also, keep in mind that choosing a system which is different from your existing one could require extensive ductwork.
- Radiators or boilers use natural gas, oil or corn to heat water. The heated water travels through a series of pipes and tubes, radiating heat along the way. You control the temperature in your home by decreasing or increasing the water temperature. Although radiators are efficient, they require separate ductwork from central air conditioners.
- Forced-air systems burn the same fuels as boilers and use fans to circulate heated air through ductwork and vents. Switching from a radiator to a forced-air system, or vice versa, requires considerable ductwork because they use unique heat distribution systems.
- Heat pumps operate by transferring heat from one area to another, so they’re considered all-in-one heating and cooling systems. In cooling mode, they remove heat from inside your home and cool it with refrigerant. For heat, the direction of the refrigerant reverses so that the unit can pump heat into your home.
- Central air conditioners cool your home by collecting and releasing indoor heat outside via a condenser. Some of the indoor air goes through an evaporator coil, where it’s cooled by refrigerant before it’s released inside.
Consider the Size and Efficiency
The size of the unit that you choose is very important because it will have trouble heating and cooling your home if it’s too small. On the other hand, it will cost more to operate a system that’s too big. Before you choose a unit, you can have an HVAC contractor perform a load calculation to find out the optimum unit size for your home.
The efficiency of your new HVAC system also affects how much it costs to operate. Although standard efficiency models are cheaper upfront, they’re more costly to operate and maintain over time. For this reason, you might choose a high-efficiency system that initially costs more but saves you money in the long run.
Ask an HVAC Contractor for Recommendations
If you need help determining the best HVAC installation for your home and needs, you can ask a professional for a recommendation. In fact, you can get personalized recommendations by contacting Woodruff and Smith Heating and Cooling, Inc.