A good HVAC system is vital to the comfort of your home, and it’s one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. Most modern homes rely on a good system that delivers efficiency at a reasonable cost. With a good HVAC system, you can rest and work comfortably at home. Below is our guide to help you choose a system that’s right for you.

HVAC Defined

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s different from AC systems, which focus exclusively on air conditioning. It is a complete system-in-one that provides good temperature moderation when you need it. It produces excellent heating for the colder months and delivers air conditioning for the hotter months. HVAC systems heat or cool your home while boosting indoor air quality. To get the most out of your HVAC system, it’s important to consider the kind you need for your home.

Choosing the Right HVAC System for Your Home

There are several factors that impact your choice of HVAC system, including the size of your home, your price range, and your personal comfort level. These are the top few items that will help you to gauge the type of HVAC system that’s right for you.

Home Size

When choosing an HVAC system, size matters. The general rule of thumb, or standard, is that the bigger the home, the greater the need for maximum comfort. An HVAC system that’s right for your home will deliver optimal performance with efficiency. Plus, it’s less likely to run up your monthly energy costs.

Price Range

The next consideration is price range. How much are you willing to spend on an HVAC system that’s right for you? The first step is to think of your new unit as an investment. While you may feel tempted to cut corners financially by buying the cheapest one you can find, you should consider quality.

The starting price for most HVACs is $5,000. Some run as much as $12,500. Prices depend on the size of the unit, the brand, and the type. Units needing ductwork may run over $20,000 with parts and labor. The larger the unit, the higher the cost. Your HVAC technician can calculate your living space to determine which size unit you’ll need.

Personal Comfort Level

Comfort encompasses many things, including noise and home climate. You may wish to purchase a unit that runs quietly if you’re sensitive to noise. Some HVACs have fans that make humming noises while running, which are distracting for some. Low buzzing or other soft sounds may be a nuisance to you and your household. Some neighborhoods may have maximum noise limits for HVAC systems, which is something to keep in mind when choosing.

Efficiency and Capacity

A good HVAC system should have a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of at least 15. For some, 17 is ideal. But if you factor in affordability, then one with a SEER of 15 is okay. But one aspect to bear in mind is that the higher the rating, the more you’ll spend on a new unit.

Size of the HVAC Unit

Even as you think about these other features, you may be pondering size. Unit size is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing the right HVAC system for your home. A common mistake made by homeowners is choosing the wrong-sized unit. Some homeowners believe that big is always better and end up opting for something greater than they can handle.

Units that are too small run constantly without delivering quality results. Heating and cooling with a small unit isn’t as consistent throughout the home, and your energy costs may be too high. Any HVAC system that’s too big for your home also causes issues. The unit may turn on and off a lot throughout a cycle. Consequently, these cycles can impact your unit and cause it to break down, leading to the need for a replacement.

In either case, it’s important to find something that’s the right size for your home. Homeowners should consider the following guidelines before replacing an old system.

Different BTU Levels

BTUs, or British thermal units, refer to the temperature needed for your home. A complete calculation of your home’s square footage is an excellent blueprint that determines your unit size. A single ton of heating and air requires a minimum of 12,000 BTUs. For example, if your space is 100-150 square feet, you’ll need a system with at least 5,000 BTUs.

Another good method is the Manual J method, which calculates square feet, insulation, and temperature. An HVAC technician should consider the size of your home and type of insulation you use. What’s included in your insulation also matters. Insulation made of polystyrene or plastic may be more compatible with smaller units because these materials won’t allow heat to escape.

Temperature averages should be taken of the home’s exterior and interior. Your HVAC technician should be able to recommend the right-sized unit based on both. This will give you an accurate picture of the unit size that’s right for you. If you live in an area with a milder climate, you may wish to choose a smaller size. Homeowners who live in harsher climates do better with a larger HVAC unit.

Single Stage vs. Two Stage

If you want to set your temperature at a level that’s lower than normal, a single-stage HVAC system is a good choice. It may also be ideal for homeowners who live in regions where seasonal weather is milder than usual. But for climates where it’s hotter or colder than usual, your best option is a two-stage system. It has a greater load capacity that’s designed to handle extreme temperatures either way.

Other Considerations

Any HVAC system that’s old and ineffective should be replaced with a brand-new one. A wise choice for most new homes is to have something larger installed. You can enjoy consistent temperatures throughout your home regardless of the weather.

However, one thing to bear in mind is climate. Regions such as Florida have warmer temperatures all year round. In those areas, homeowners may need a solid system to help them keep up with a hotter climate. Homes in these areas are ideal candidates for larger HVAC systems.

If you live in a colder climate, you may fare better with a smaller HVAC unit. It’s best to have something to heat your house up without turning on and off constantly, so having a large HVAC system may not be the ideal choice. Since most of these regions have milder summers, t’s important to keep things on an even keel. A smaller unit can keep your home at a moderate temperature.

At Main Street Heating & Cooling, we provide quality heating and air conditioning services. We offer repair, maintenance, and installation on furnaces and air conditioners. Our services include gas and electric heating and repair. We offer 24/7 emergency heating and air conditioning services for your Utah home. Call or visit Main Street Heating & Cooling today to learn more.

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