Apr 15, 2017

A Guide to Choosing the Right HVAC System for Your Home

By: support

A lot of homeowners find themselves panicking when it comes time to replace their HVAC system. They trust their professional to install the right one for their home and a lot of times it’s anything but the right one for their needs. Either it’s too expensive or too big. So it’s a good idea to know what you should look for. We’re going to discuss how the HVAC systems operate, the best HVAC systems, and how you can select the right model and make for your needs.

We will discuss the factors that are most important which you’ll want to consider when it comes to choosing your HVAC system, so you’ll be able to make a decision that is educated.

HVAC System Types

There are a lot of different kinds of these types of systems, and you’ll have to decide which kind will suit your needs the best. Do you want to replace the system you have with the exact same type or do you want to upgrade? Remember that when you change your system type, it can require a lot of work. If your unit is one of the old-fashioned boilers and you’re planning to upgrade to forced air, you’re going to need ductwork throughout your house. Below are a few kinds of the HVAC systems.

Radiators – These are also known as the boiler systems. These are the oil fashioned systems and they have stood the test of time. They provide heat through boiling water in the system, and then this passes through tubes and pipes to send heat through your home. Because you control how hot the water gets, you’re able to control how warm your house becomes. Radiators usually will use heating oil or natural gas to work. However, sometimes an alternative fuel such as corn can be used. They are often efficient but they aren’t able to be used if you want central air, since that will require a different type of ductwork.

Forced Air – These are common and they usually run using natural gas, even though electric, corn, and oil versions are also available. These types of systems will burn fuel and then circulate air through vents and ductwork inside your home by way of fans. They can be used with central air that has been connected.

Radiant Floors – These are fairly new to the heating game. They use heated glycol or hot water which has been piped underneath your floors to heat your home. Radiant floors will need a heat pump or boiler to use and they can be retrofitted into an existing home. They also are very energy efficient.

Heat Pump – This isn’t a heating system on its own. But it’s an add-on to a system that already exists. A heat pump works by transferring the heat from one area to another. The best thing about them is that they increase your existing system’s efficiency greatly.

Size Matters

It’s important that when you’re looking at systems that you choose one that is going to cover your whole house. But a system that’s too big is going to make your bills skyrocket and strain the system as well. But you also want to make sure that the system isn’t too small since it’s going to work overtime to heat or cool your home. So that you can choose the one that is best for your home, you want to talk to an HVAC professional and have a load calculation done.

When this process is performed, the professional doing the evaluation will look at your home’s characteristics, the dimensions and size of the building and rooms, and they will figure out what size of system that you will need. After that, you’ll have a point that will help you so that you can start researching the systems that are going to suit your needs the best.

You should understand that your system’s size isn’t always going to correlate with your home’s size. With the newer homes, you might discover that the higher efficiency windows and updated insulation will help you buy an HVAC system that’s smaller than you’d expect.

Buying the HVAC system that’s best for your home will result in decreased maintenance and utility costs as time goes by. This only can be accomplished if you first deal with problems regarding low efficiency windows and insulation.

Efficiency is Very Important

Even though your system’s size is important, the efficiency of the system is even more important. When you are researching the different units, you’ll have to select between standard and high efficiency systems. If you choose the standard efficiency, it’s going to be cheap but it’s going to cost you money as time goes by. You are going to pay a lot of money in high bills and maintenance.

When you choose a high efficiency, you are going to have lower utility bills and you are also going to have less maintenance. They also usually last a lot longer. There are three things that you want to consider – the SEER, the AFUE, and the HSPF.

SEER

This rating is the efficiency rating which applies to cooling/central AC units. If your unit has a SEER rating of at least 14 or more, it’s high efficiency.

AFUE

This is used for heating systems and furnaces. It indicates how much energy from your fuels that’s being used which is then turning into heat that can be used. When the number is higher, the efficiency is higher. If the rating is more than 90, it’s pretty efficient. But you should choose one that has one from 95 to 99 for the very best.

HSPF

This relates to heat pumps’ heating processes. Not all of the HVAC systems have heat pumps, so you may not have to worry about this rating, based on the system that you are buying. If the system has a rating of more than 8.2 it’s high efficiency. But there’s systems that have a rating of 9.0-9.3.

Energy Star

If the different ratings and factors seem too intensive or confusing, one of the best ways that you can determine if the system’s high efficiency is to look for the logo of Energy star. This logo will certify the system’s met the stringent standards regarding efficiency and performance that is required for the logo.

When you are choosing a HVAC system, you should always look for one that is high efficiency. You will find that the benefits that you’re having in the long run are incredible.

The Filter’s Role

It’s important to change the filter in your HVAC system for maintaining your system and the filter plays a very important role in how your system runs and how efficiently. Filters not only protect the unit but they also are necessary to improve the quality of your indoor air.

Even though you won’t just to base what HVAC system you buy on the filter, you should know the kind of filter you’ll need for your system. You want to check out the filter’s length, depth, and width. Then you can examine the brands that are offering the filters that are most efficient.

When you combine a system that’s highly efficient and a filter that is highly efficient, it can save you a lot of money and improve the durability of your unit and quality of your indoor air, it’s a good idea to choose the system that will use the filters that are most efficient.

There are some times when you will discover that there are HVAC units using a filter with weird dimensions. Even though this could limit the options that you have, there are some manufacturers that are able to create custom filters that are highly efficient for you. They just need to know the requirements of your system.

The Brand

Another thing that you want to do, is consider the brand when you’re looking to buy a HVAC system. You want to choose one that comes with an excellent reputation. Reliability and quality are very important along with the operation costs and the upfront costs that you will pay.

Below are some recognized top name brands when it comes to HVAC systems.

  • Allied
  • American Standard
  • Carrier
  • Dave Lennox
  • Goodman
  • Rheem
  • United Technologies

When you are thinking about which brand you want to buy you should look at the characteristics each brand has in order to figure out which will be best for your needs. Then you will be able to look at the positives and negatives that each of them offers, so that you can choose the best one.

Allied Air

It’s best known as Armstrong. They’re known for producing equipment that is top quality, and that’s both cost-effective to purchase and will perform with even the best equipment.

American Standard

American Standard, which runs under Ingersoll-Rand, has products that are constantly innovating and reliable. Their products are always striving to improve energy efficiency and comfort. The company ranks consistently in the top five amongst other companies when it comes to HVAC. They also offer other features like wireless thermostats that have touchscreen interfaces, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, integrated purification, and more.

Carrier

This affordable brand produces models that are very good when it comes to performance when compared with more expensive models. They back up their products using some of the market’s best warranties and they’re compatible with a lot of add-ons for air quality like humidifiers and purifiers.

Dave Lennox

This company is known for creating systems that are highly efficient and reliable. The company has also been at the front of technology for many years. Dave Lennox’s system is known as the Signature Series is the market’s most efficient system. It’s eco-friendly and will consistently maintain the home’s environment.

Goodman

This brand isn’t as well-known but they’ve created a very solid niche among the providers of HVAC system by backing up their products with great warranties. They carry many products that cover a wide range of needs for cooling and heating.

Maytag

This is another company that is very well known. They use the very best technology and create systems that are very efficient, then back the systems up with incredible warranties offering full replacement.

Rheem

Rheem’s had a fantastic record with regards to quality and dependability. They also carry many different products to suit your needs, whether you are looking for a basic system or something more advanced. They have warranty coverage that is solid, and their units are both dependable and reliable to purchase and install.

United Technologies

Creating name brands such as Bryant Evolution and Carrier Infinity, United Technologies doesn’t lead everyone in innovation. However, they create reliable and efficient products that are great when it comes to energy and have track records that prove their reliability. United Technologies’ products also rank consistently in the top five amongst companies for HVAC.

Making Your Final Decision on a HVAC System

As you can see, there are a lot of things that go into choosing the right type of HVAC system for your home. It’s not a decision that you should take lightly. You should do your research so that you can find the one that is right for you and your family. Energy efficient systems are really the way that you want to go. Yes, you are going to spend a little more up front than you would otherwise. However, you are going to save money in the long run because you are not going to spend as much money on your electric bill and you’re less likely to have to replace it after a few years.

We have created this guide to make the choice a lot easier for you. Use it to help you find the one that is right for you. Take a look at the information provided and then make a choice that is best to help keep you and your family comfortable. Enjoy your new HVAC system, and good luck!

Air Conditioning Professionals

Boyd Brothers HVAC is built on integrity, professionalism and doing the job right the first time, every time. Growing up in Southwest Florida, we understand that having a broken heating or AC system is about the last thing you want to deal with, or wait around to have serviced.

We have the utmost respect for you, your home, and your heating and cooling needs. We look forward to earning your business through top-quality repair and installation work. Contact us today!

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