Installing a central HVAC system is a big investment, especially since a lot of details and factors are involved. You’ll also want to have your system installed before the summer months arrive, so it has to be done while the weather is ideal. It also helps to work with certified heating and air condition service contractors who can help you during each step of the process.
Let the Professionals Handle It
A qualified team of professionals has the knowledge and experience to install your new central HVAC system. Of course, you can’t just hire any other contractor available, so you need to do your research and find the locally established HVAC companies in your area. If you’re planning to compare estimates, you can get referrals from friends and neighbors so you’ll know which contractors have a good reputation within the community. Depending on the size of your home, the installation can take about a week at most. But if you already have existing ductwork, it will only take only a few days!
If you want your central HVAC installation to go by smoothly, you need to be prepared in all aspects of the project. EZ Air Conditioning and Heating, a locally trusted air condition service contractor, shares how you can do this.
Determine the Cost
The overall cost of your HVAC project will depend on several factors, including the local climate, existing insulation, labor costs and even the model of the unit you’re planning to install. Even the size of your home is a huge factor; if you live in a mansion or a home that’s above the average size, that means there’s more living space your HVAC has to cover. That naturally means more labor costs for installation (especially if you don’t have existing ductwork), and you’ll likely need an HVAC model that’s bigger than the usual.
Find the Right HVAC Size
You’ll need to consider which HVAC size is appropriate for your home, which is crucial to its performance and efficiency. This is measured by the ton, which is the cooling energy released by a one-ton block of ice melting over a day. To give you an idea of how much you need, a typical 2,000-square-foot home usually requires three to 3.5 tons of heating/air conditioning. However, other variables will still need to be factored in for every home to get the tonnage precisely right.
If proper measurements weren’t made and you get a central HVAC system that’s smaller than the recommended size, it will cause more problems for your home later on. It will end up working harder than necessary to provide conditioned air, which won’t always be even in some areas of your home. It will also consume more energy, which can lead to higher monthly utility bills. It’s also more susceptible to breakdowns since it will run almost consistently, which will lead to frequent repairs.
On the other hand, an oversized HVAC system won’t be able to keep your indoor air quality within comfortable levels. This is because it will cool your home too fast, which won’t effectively dehumidify the air properly. To ensure the right size is installed, your contractor will closely inspect your home and make the necessary measurements to determine a heat-load calculation of your home. Other factors will also be taken into account such as the cubic feet of living space, the number of windows, the local climate and even the sun’s orientation.
Choose the Right Unit
Upon close discussion with your hired HVAC contractors, they’ll recommend several options that work best for your home. Depending on your preference, you’ll likely have to choose between package systems and split systems. Package systems are essentially units that have all the components in a single housing and attach straight to the ducts in your home. On the other hand, split systems will have the condenser unit placed outside while the coil and fan are installed indoors, which is usually in the attic.
Some states will incentivize efficiency, especially with today’s HVAC systems required to be at least 14 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) or above. SEER measures how much cooling you get for each watt of power used, which means higher ratings will provide greater performance and efficiency.
Of course, SEER won’t be the only ratings you’ll see when browsing for a new central HVAC system. It helps to know the common air conditioning terms as they’ll help you choose the right unit for your home. Some of the terms you need to know include:
- EER – Also known as the Energy Efficiency Ratio, it works the same way as SEER, but without taking the seasonal averages into account. To give you an idea, a minimum of 12.2 minimum EER for units of 3.5 tons or smaller will be required for hot and dry climates to ensure indoor air quality and comfort.
- Tons – In HVAC terms, a ton represents the total cooling capacity that an AC system has to offer. It is equivalent to the amount of heat required – 288,000 British Thermal Unit (BTU) – to melt a ton of ice within 24 hours. On average, a typical residential HVAC unit is rated for three tons.
- ENERGY STAR® – You’ll find that HVAC units will typically have the ENERGY STAR label if they have at least a SEER rating of 15 or higher. This is required so that the system allows the homeowners to be eligible for tax and utility rebates. Although higher ratings are better, you don’t always need to go for the highest rated unit if it isn’t necessary. Talk to your trusted heating and air condition repair technician to know which units have just the right rating for your home!
Use the Right Air Filter
Your central HVAC system wouldn’t be complete without adding a high-efficiency air filter. Ordinary filters may be able to filter out pollen and dust to a certain degree, but they won’t be able to filter out all the particles and contaminants. The higher quality filters usually have MERV ratings, which measure how effectively a filter captures dust, germs, and odors. Also known as Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, higher MERV numbers mean the filter can remove more airborne particles.
As a reputable heating and air condition service company in the area, EZ Air Conditioning and Heating is committed to helping you find the best home comfort system that fits your needs. Count on our experienced technicians to ensure your home’s year-round comfort through our top-notch heating and cooling solutions. Call us today at (210) 429-9186, or fill out our convenient online contact form to get started!