3 questions to ask when looking for your new HVAC unit
If you subscribe to the belief that your home is your castle, then you naturally expect to be comfortable in that castle, right? Whether it’s the middle of winter or the dog days of summer, your home’s HVAC system plays a vital role in supporting this comfort, so if you’re in the market for a new system, here are three questions you should ask before purchasing your new system.
Is the unit the right size for your home?
In the world of HVAC units, size matters and bigger isn’t always better. A unit that is too big will needlessly waste energy in your home while a unit that is too small will burn out trying to keep up. An HVAC system's power is measured in tons — not a unit of weight in this case but power.
To determine the proper tonnage for your home, your HVAC technician will need to review most, if not all, of the rooms in your home — especially the attic and/or basement. A common rule of thumb for HVAC systems is that one ton is necessary for every 400 square feet in the home. However, your needs may vary based on your home’s location, its insulation and other factors, so don't be afraid to ask questions as your technician reviews your home.
What is the proper SEER rating for your home?
When it comes to HVAC systems, the SEER rating may be the most important measurement you're not aware of.
Ken Ely, director of residential product management, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls agrees. “Many homeowners have never heard of a SEER rating associated with their HVAC unit,” he says. “However, a unit’s SEER rating demonstrates its energy efficiency and how easily the system can control the temperature in your home. A higher SEER rating is good for the environment and your overall energy budget.”
SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and the rating is a good indicator of your unit’s energy efficiency. For example, the 19 SEER efficiency of the new two-stage Luxaire Acclimate HVAC unit can reduce your system’s energy usage by up to 47 percent when compared to older 10 SEER units, meaning you'll start saving energy and utility costs immediately after installation.
All units with SEER ratings of 14 or higher earn an energy efficiency classification, so look for the SEER rating when shopping for a new HVAC unit and remember the higher the rating, the more you'll save in the long run.
What maintenance will be involved with my unit?
Like all other aspects of your home, adding a new HVAC unit means you’ll be responsible for some maintenance to support its use. The maintenance required for your new unit should be outlined in the owner’s manual, but you can also ask your HVAC contractor if you have any questions not answered in the guide. Confirm the warranty details of your new HVAC system and be sure to register the warranty with the manufacturer if necessary. This will ensure your new system is supported for years to come.
Following a regular maintenance schedule, such as keeping the area around your unit clean, is a good rule to follow. The extra effort will keep your system running optimally, and neglecting routine maintenance can void your system's warranty. Keep a record of all maintenance performed to reference in case any repairs are needed.
Finding your next HVAC system
Whether you want to enjoy the last days of this season or prepare for the next, finding the right HVAC system for your home is one decision you shouldn't delay. Start your search by finding answers to the questions above and you'll be on your way to the perfect HVAC solution for your property.