5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New AC or Furnace

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Gina Napsin
Date
April 03, 2024
Theme
Heating & Cooling
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Are you feeling the heat or cold creeping into your home, making your living spaces uncomfortable? It might be time to consider a significant upgrade to your home's HVAC system. But before you dive headfirst into purchasing a new air conditioner or furnace, there are crucial questions you need to address. Your comfort and long-term satisfaction depend on it.
In this blog, we'll explore the five pivotal questions that should be on your checklist before investing in a new HVAC system. From energy efficiency to budget considerations, we'll equip you with the knowledge needed to make a wise and informed decision. Let's embark on this HVAC journey together!

Why Do You Need a New AC or Furnace?

  • Assessing Your Current System
Before diving into the process of buying a new AC or furnace, it's crucial to evaluate your existing HVAC system. Start by considering its age, performance, and maintenance history. Older systems tend to have lower energy efficiency and are more prone to breakdowns, leading to increased repair costs. If your unit is nearing the end of its lifespan or has a history of frequent issues, it's a clear sign that it's time for an upgrade to ensure better reliability and efficiency.
  • Identifying Performance Issues
Take note of any comfort-related problems you've been facing, such as uneven heating or cooling, inconsistent temperatures across different rooms, or excessive indoor humidity. These issues are often indicative of an HVAC system struggling to meet your home's specific heating or cooling needs. Identifying these performance shortcomings will help you pinpoint the improvements you require from your new system to achieve the comfort levels you desire.
  • Energy Efficiency Concerns
Modern HVAC systems are engineered to be highly energy-efficient, translating into substantial long-term cost savings. If you've observed a steady increase in your energy bills, it could be a direct result of your current system's declining efficiency. Upgrading to a more energy-efficient AC or furnace can not only provide better comfort but also reduce your monthly energy expenses, making it a wise investment for your home and wallet alike.

What Type of System Suits Your Needs?

  • AC vs. Furnace: Knowing the Difference
When considering a new HVAC system, it's crucial to understand the fundamental distinction between air conditioners (AC) and furnaces. Air conditioners are designed to cool your home, while furnaces provide heating. The choice between the two depends on your geographical location and specific heating and cooling needs. In warmer climates, AC units may suffice, whereas colder regions may require furnaces for efficient heating.
  • Dual HVAC Systems
In certain areas, a dual HVAC system that integrates both heating and cooling capabilities can be the ideal choice. These systems offer year-round temperature control, ensuring comfort throughout the seasons. They provide versatility, allowing you to switch between heating and cooling as needed, making them an excellent investment for regions with varying climate demands.
  • Heat Pumps and Their Benefits
Heat pumps present an energy-efficient alternative capable of both heating and cooling. They excel in moderate climates, efficiently regulating indoor temperatures while reducing energy consumption. Heat pumps are an eco-friendly choice that can save on long-term energy costs, making them an appealing option for environmentally-conscious homeowners or those residing in areas with milder weather conditions.

What Size Should You Choose?

  • The Importance of Proper Sizing
Choosing the correct size for your HVAC system is paramount. An oversized unit will frequently cycle on and off, resulting in energy wastage and uneven temperatures throughout your home. On the other hand, an undersized unit will struggle to adequately heat or cool your living spaces, leaving you uncomfortable. Achieving the right balance in sizing is key to optimal performance and energy efficiency.
  • Factors Affecting Sizing
Several factors influence the sizing of your HVAC system, including your home's dimensions, insulation quality, layout, and the local climate conditions. It's essential to consider these variables to determine the appropriate system size accurately. A professional HVAC technician can conduct a load calculation, factoring in all these variables to ensure the system is neither too large nor too small, but just right for your home's needs.
  • Avoiding Oversized or Undersized Units
Collaborating with a qualified HVAC professional is your best strategy to avoid the pitfalls of an improperly sized unit. They have the expertise to perform precise calculations, ensuring your new system matches your home's requirements. This guarantees efficient operation and consistent comfort, while also preventing unnecessary energy consumption and wear on the equipment.

Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings

  • SEER for Air Conditioners
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a crucial metric for measuring the efficiency of air conditioning systems. A higher SEER rating indicates greater energy efficiency, translating to lower cooling costs. When you opt for an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating, you're making an investment in a system that can effectively cool your home while consuming less electricity, ultimately reducing your environmental footprint and saving you money on your energy bills.
  • AFUE for Furnaces
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) measures the efficiency of furnaces in converting fuel into heat. A higher AFUE rating indicates more efficient heating and lower energy consumption. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings can extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, resulting in reduced heating expenses and a more environmentally friendly heating solution.
  • The Impact on Utility Bills
While systems with higher SEER or AFUE ratings may necessitate a larger initial investment, they offer substantial long-term benefits by reducing utility bills. These energy-efficient systems consume less energy to maintain your desired indoor temperature. Over time, the savings on energy costs offset the initial expenses, making them a wise financial and ecological choice for homeowners aiming to lower their utility bills and carbon footprint.

Choosing the Right HVAC Professional

  • Researching Local Contractors
Selecting the perfect HVAC contractor is a critical step in the HVAC system purchasing process. It's essential to research local HVAC companies thoroughly. Start by reading online reviews and ratings to gauge their reputation. Seek recommendations from friends and family who have had positive experiences with HVAC professionals. This research ensures that you're entrusting your HVAC needs to a reputable and trustworthy expert who can provide high-quality service.
  • Requesting Multiple Quotes
Never settle for the initial quote you receive. Instead, collect quotes from several HVAC contractors. This practice enables you to compare prices and services, ensuring you secure a competitive and reasonable estimate. Gathering multiple quotes empowers you to make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and specific HVAC requirements, ultimately saving you money and ensuring you receive top-notch service.
  • Checking References and Reviews
Before finalizing your choice, ask prospective HVAC contractors for references from their previous customers. Call these references to gain firsthand insights into the contractor's work quality, reliability, and professionalism. Additionally, read online reviews to uncover any recurring issues or patterns in customer feedback. This diligence in checking references and reviews ensures you hire a contractor with a track record of delivering excellent service and customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

When it comes to enhancing your home's comfort and energy efficiency, investing in a new AC or furnace is a crucial decision. To ensure you make the right choice, ask these five essential questions and seek the guidance of a certified HVAC professional. Your informed decision today will lead to years of comfort and savings.
Take action now and reach out to Home Alliance for expert HVAC services, including air conditioner repair, heating maintenance, air duct cleaning, furnace services, and more. Rest assured, our licensed and well-trained technicians are dedicated to delivering top-quality services. Your home's comfort is just a call away. Contact us today to experience excellence in HVAC care.

FAQs

  • How often should I replace my HVAC system?
HVAC systems typically last 15 to 20 years, but it depends on usage and maintenance.
  • Can I install an HVAC system myself?
It's highly recommended to hire a professional for installation to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • What's the average cost of a new HVAC system?
Costs vary widely based on factors like system type, size, and local labor rates. Get multiple quotes for accurate pricing.
  • Are there any tax incentives for energy-efficient HVAC systems?
Some governments offer tax credits for energy-efficient HVAC installations. Check with your local authorities.
  • How can I maintain my new HVAC system for optimal performance?
Regular maintenance, such as cleaning filters and scheduling professional tune-ups, is essential to keep your system running efficiently.