As a home or commercial building owner, you know energy efficiency is critical. Before buying a new HVAC system, you should know the important questions to ask.
Since a HVAC system is one of the most expensive investments you can budget for, you’ll need to gather all the information you can when you think it’s time to buy a new unit. Over 50% of all air-conditioning systems are purchased as an afterthought and that can lead to purchasing the wrong system for your needs. You wouldn’t want that.
Before you contact a contractor, here are 5 pertinent questions you should ask before you spend on that new unit.
Should I Repair Or Replace An Old System?
Most people don’t know how to answer this one. What you need to know is that every situation or premise is unique. However, there are some guidelines you can follow. For instance, if your HVAC was installed 15-20 years ago, replacing it is probably the best option. Older units fall short of the recommended energy efficiency measures and replacing with a new unit translates into lower energy bills.
Another sign it may be time to replace your HVAC unit is when you are having to repair the system more and more frequently. Breakdowns are not only inconvenient but those repair bills add up quickly.
Will the New System Offer Energy Efficiency
Even though you follow basic maintenance procedures, with time, that HVAC system you installed some years back loses its efficiency.
When you go shopping for a new HVAC unit, it’s important to query not just the SEER rating but its energy star rating as well. Systems with an Energy Star label are highly efficient, and they exceed the parameters set by relevant environmental agencies. If you purchase a unit that meets the recommended energy efficiency ratio, your bill will drop significantly.
What Size HVAC System Do I Need?
Purchasing the right size HVAC system is just as important as it’s efficiency ratings. If you buy a unit, that isn’t compatible with the square footage in your premises, you’ll end up paying a premium for what you don’t need. A unit that is too small for your home or office means it won’t be able to keep up with your cooling and heating demands. You can ask your contractor for guidance since they can help you undertake load calculations.
A Split or Packaged HVAC Unit?
The split air conditioning system is comprised of two units, one installed inside your premises and another that’s positioned outside. The packaged system has both units installed inside the same cabinet, but they’re fixed outside the building.
The decision between the two types of systems is based on what is already in your home or office. Electrical and ducting is installed differently for each type. In some cases it could be possible to change from a package unit to a split system, or the other way around, but the additional labor and parts costs would be expensive and provide no added benefits.
What’s the Maintenance Procedure?
HVAC is not a set and forget process. You want your unit to run efficiently after installation. Since the warranties that come with new units require service from a licensed contractor, ask them to spell out the maintenance schedule they offer. You’ll need these unit tune-ups one to two time a year if the system is to operate optimally.
One more thing, don’t forget to ask about the warranties. It will do your budget some good. For example, here at FACT HVAC, all of the new systems we sell and install come with 10 year warranties on parts and labor as well as 2 years of free maintenance.