Your home’s HVAC is its most important comfort system. It’s also a major investment in your home itself. So, buying a new HVAC system for your home is a decision that can have both practical and financial consequences. When the time to make that decision comes, it’s a good idea to know what to pay attention to the most in your search. To help, here are five things you should consider before you purchase a new HVAC system for your home.
1. Look for High SEER and AFUE Ratings
As you know, homes here in the Richmond, VA area tend to require air conditioning for as much as six months per year. That leads to cooling costs well above the national average. It also makes your air conditioner’s efficiency of primary importance. So, when you approach the decision to buy a new HVAC system, you should look for one with the highest SEER rating possible.
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it’s a standard AC efficiency rating system you can use to compare the efficiency of various models you’re considering. Without going into how manufacturers calculate SEER ratings, the bottom line is that the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system.
Right now, national efficiency standards dictate that you can’t purchase an AC system for a home in the South with a SEER rating lower than 15. However, you should aim for a system with the highest SEER rating you can comfortably afford. Even if it costs you a bit more upfront, you’ll save on your energy costs throughout the lifetime of your new AC without sacrificing any comfort.
You should also look for an HVAC system with a high AFUE rating on its heating components. Like SEER, AFUE is a standard efficiency metric for furnaces and boilers. It’s far simpler to decipher, though. An AFUE rating is the equivalent of an efficiency percentage. Therefore, if the HVAC system you’re considering has an AFUE of 80, that means it’s 80% efficient. Again, you’ll want to select an HVAC system with the highest AFUE rating you can afford for the best long-term results.
2. Choose the Right Size HVAC
Another thing you’ll want to pay attention to when choosing a new HVAC system is to ensure that the unit you’re buying meets your home’s heating and cooling requirements. When it comes to air conditioning, if you purchase a system that’s too small for your home, it won’t keep you cool. If you purchase a system that’s too big, it will cost you more than it should to operate, and your new system might wear out prematurely. The same logic applies to your heating components.
The best way to ensure that you’re buying the right size HVAC is to let a qualified HVAC contractor like Davis & Green evaluate your home’s needs for you. Our expert technicians know how to weigh everything from your home’s construction to how you use it to determine its cooling needs. That way, you’ll end up buying an HVAC system that’s just right to keep you comfortable year-round at the lowest possible cost.
However, if you want to get a decent idea of what size HVAC system your home needs, there’s a rudimentary formula you can use. First, multiply your home’s total square footage by 25. Then, divide the results by 12,000 and round off your answer to the nearest half. That will tell you about what size, in tons, the HVAC system for your home should be. Of course, if your home has high ceilings, poor insulation, or above-average sun exposure, you might need a slightly bigger unit. However, the formula above should get you a decent ballpark figure to begin your search.
3. Consider Noise Levels
Another thing to think about when choosing a new HVAC system for your home is how much noise your prospective new system might make. Not all HVAC systems operate at the same volume, and some can be substantially noisier than others. If you value peace and quiet, this is a factor you can’t afford to ignore.
Unfortunately, operational noise levels aren’t something you’ll find listed on a handy sticker like you would with efficiency data. You can, however, find information about how noisy a given HVAC system is in its technical specifications and occasionally in sales materials about the unit. Your best bet is to ask whoever’s selling you the system to provide the data you need.
Here at Davis & Green, our experienced staff knows how important an HVAC’s noise level can be to a homeowner. So, we can always furnish this information to customers when they come to us looking for a new HVAC system. Plus, we have the real-world experience to know which systems make the most noise and which don’t.
4. Consider Brand Reputation
Like any other type of big-ticket purchase, you don’t want to end up feeling buyer’s remorse after purchasing a new HVAC system. One of the best ways to avoid that is to consider the reputation of the manufacturer of any system you’re considering. As you might expect, it’s a good idea to stick with the most established manufacturers in the industry. Their longevity is a sign that they make a quality product.
Of course, you should realize that you may not know every major name in the HVAC market. However, we sell Lennox heating and cooling systems, a well-known, affordable and respected brand in the HVAC market.
5. Choose a Trustworthy Installer
Just as you wouldn’t leave your car in the hands of an inexperienced mechanic, you shouldn’t entrust the installation of a costly new HVAC system to anyone but an expert. HVAC installation is often the epitome of the saying that you get what you pay for. In other words, if you choose an installer based on their low prices, you’re likely to end up with a slipshod installation.
The team here at Davis & Green strives to offer you fair HVAC installation prices without cutting any corners. We’re not going to try and entice you with a lowball installation quote only to rush through the job and leave installation steps half-done. Our expert technicians will do what’s necessary to install your new HVAC system to the manufacturer’s exact specifications. That will ensure that your new HVAC will provide years of reliable service and that you won’t face any unexpected repair bills soon after your purchase.
Your Trusted HVAC Partner
When the time comes to put a new HVAC system in your Richmond, VA, home, you’ll want to work with an HVAC contractor with years of knowledge and experience to guide you. Davis & Green is that HVAC contractor, having served the Richmond, VA area since 1984. We’re well-known for our honesty and stellar customer service, as well as our comprehensive slate of service offerings. We handle HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance as well as plumbing and electrical services for both residential and commercial customers. When you need a new HVAC system for your Richmond, VA home, contact Davis & Green, and we’ll make sure you get your money’s worth with no compromises.