You may wonder where to start if you are in the market for a new HVAC system. There are so many options available that it can be challenging to know which suits your needs. In this blog post, the Coastal Climate Experts will discuss the factors you need to consider when choosing an HVAC system. We will also provide tips on how to find the best deal on a system that meets your needs. Read on!
What to consider when choosing an HVAC system
There are many different factors to consider when choosing your HVAC system. These include the system’s capacity, features, brand, fuel source, price, thermostat compatibility, required maintenance, sound, efficiency, and desired temperature and air quality. First, consider the systems:
Regardless of which HVAC system you choose, it needs to have the capacity to heat and cool your home effectively. You measure the system’s capacity in BTUs (British Thermal Units) and tons. A “ton” of cooling capacity equals 12,000 BTUs per hour. Most homes require a two- or three-ton HVAC system.
Your HVAC system should have features that address your specific needs and improve your comfort. These may include:
- A programmable thermostat
- A humidifier or dehumidifier
- Zoning capability (the ability to heat and cool different areas of your home independently)
- Air filtration or purification
- Ultraviolet germicidal lights
The HVAC system you choose should be a brand familiar to your contractor. That way, if you have any problems with the system, your contractor can get the parts and services you need quickly and easily. Coastal Climate Experts recommend Trane, RunTru, and Mitsubishi as familiar brands of high quality.
The HVAC system you choose should have the fuel source that is most convenient and cost-effective for you. The three most common fuel sources are electricity, natural gas, and propane, though natural gas and propane sources are more efficient than electric or oil heating. Naturally, you will be limited in what fuel sources you can access, but it’s always worth the consideration. Changing fuel types means costly renovations, but you may find that it’s worth it for the energy savings.
The HVAC system you choose should also be affordable. HVAC systems can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so you must find one that fits your budget. Installation costs will also play a role in the overall price of the system, so be sure to factor that in as well.
Programmable thermostat compatibility
Many HVAC systems now come with programmable thermostats, saving you money on your energy bill. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s worth considering one when choosing your HVAC system.
Required maintenance services
Another important consideration is the required maintenance services. Some HVAC systems require more frequent service than others, so ask about this before purchasing.
If you’re sensitive to noise, you’ll want to choose a system with a low sound rating. HVAC systems can be noisy, so you’ll want to consider this.
HVAC System efficiency
You should also consider the HVAC system’s energy efficiency when deciding. You measure an HVAC system’s energy efficiency by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the system. HVAC systems with a SEER of 13 or higher are available. Some systems have an even higher rating, up to 26.
Temperature and air quality
The HVAC system you choose should also be able to maintain a comfortable temperature and air quality in your home. You’ll want to ensure that the system you choose can keep your home at a comfortable temperature during summer and winter.
Warranties and guarantees
Finally, be sure to ask about warranties and guarantees. Most HVAC manufacturers offer at least a one-year warranty on their products, but some offer more extended warranties. It’s worth asking about this before making your purchase to be sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Types of HVAC Systems
Split HVAC Systems
A split HVAC system is the most common type of HVAC system. It consists of an indoor unit, usually located in the basement or utility room, and an outdoor unit, typically on the roof or outside the home.
Ductless Split HVAC Systems
A ductless split system, also known as a mini-split system, is similar to a split HVAC system but does not require ductwork. Instead, it uses an air conditioner and furnace combination unit connected to an outdoor condenser via refrigerant lines. This type of HVAC system is ideal for homes that do not have existing ductwork or for rooms that need additional heating and cooling, such as sunrooms or finished basements.
Packaged HVAC Systems
A packaged HVAC system is a single unit that contains both the indoor and outdoor components of an HVAC system. This system is typically used in small homes or apartments and is usually located on the roof or outside the home.
Geothermal HVAC Systems
A geothermal HVAC system uses the earth’s natural heat to provide heating and cooling for your home. This type of system requires a ground loop, a series of underground pipes filled with water or refrigerant. The water or refrigerant circulates through the pipes, absorbing heat from the earth in winter and transferring it back into the earth in summer. Geotherma systems are typically more expensive to install than other types of HVAC systems, but they are very efficient and can save you money on your energy bills in the long run.
HVAC Cost Factors
The prices of HVAC systems vary widely, and one of the reasons for this is the many different factors that make up the systems. Consider the following:
If your home doesn’t have ductwork or you need to replace ductwork, this will add to the cost of your HVAC installation.
Some HVAC systems have features that make them more comfortable, such as air filtration and humidification. These features will add to the cost of your HVAC system, but they may be worth it if you want a higher level of comfort in your home.
The most critical factor in HVAC pricing is efficiency. The higher the efficiency of your system, the more it will cost. But, using less energy, a high-efficiency system will save you money in the long run.
The size of your HVAC system is one of the critical factors in determining its price. Bigger systems typically cost more than smaller ones.
There are many different types of HVAC systems on the market. Each has its own set of features and benefits. Choose the type of system that best fits your needs and budget. Be aware that geothermal and ductless mini-split systems are substantially more expensive than other types.
HVAC Costs by System
The costs of HVAC systems will vary depending on the needs of your home, but you will almost certainly spend thousands of dollars. Consult a breakdown:
- AC: $3,800-$7,500
- Furnace: $2,600-$6,300
- Heat Pump: $4,100-$7,200
- Boiler: $3,500-$7,700
- Ductwork: $500-$2,000
- Ductless mini-split: $2,000-$14,500
- Geothermal system: $3,700-$17,000
Choose the right HVAC system with Coastal Climate Experts
When you’re ready to choose an HVAC system, remember that the most important thing is to find one that fits your needs and budget. Be sure to consult with a professional like Coastal Climate Experts before making your final decision. We perform HVAC system installation, repairs, and maintenance, and we would be happy to help guide you to an HVAC system that’s right for you. Contact us today!