HVAC 101 A Quick Study Guide for Homeowners
There’s a lot to think about when buying a heat pump, gas furnace or central air conditioning system. That’s because next to your home itself, a home comfort system is one of your largest investments.
Here are answers to ten common questions to help you make an intelligent HVAC choice:
- HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE WITH NEW EQUIPMENT?
Air conditioning and heating equipment consume about 44% of a home’s energy bill. Today’s ENERGY STAR® qualified systems are as much as 60% more efficient than 10-year-old equipment.
- SHOULD I REPAIR OR REPLACE MY EXISTING SYSTEM?
As a rule of thumb, replace your existing home comfort system when repairs cost 30% of a new purchase—or when utility bills have increased 50% as a result of older, less efficient systems using more, higher-priced electricity.
- IS INSTALLING A CENTRAL HVAC SYSTEM REALLY NECESSARY?
In new homes or remodels, a central home comfort system is the best solution for overall comfort and superior indoor air quality and humidity control.
- WHAT IS THE BEST THERMOSTAT TO USE WITH MY SYSTEM?
Look for a programmable thermostat for accurate, reliable, energy-saving performance. For added savings and convenience, our Residential Communicating Control with Wi-Fi® support works with mobile devices to easily program your system wherever you are.
- HOW CAN I BE SURE I’M SELECTING THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR?
Seek out a contractor who is associated with a recognized brand. If they are backed by the product and training resources of a major manufacturer, you will feel confident that you’re getting the home comfort system that best meets your needs.
- HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT HEATING/COOLING SYSTEM?
Get solid advice from an expert. The right contractor can perform a load calculation
or an energy analysis to determine your operating costs. After getting to know your needs, he can customize a system just for you.
- IF I HAVE AN EXISTING SYSTEM, CAN ANY OF THE COMPONENTS BE REUSED?
Every system is different. After a thorough inspection of your electrical system, ductwork and other components, your contractor will provide a rundown of what you need to replace and what you can keep.
- HOW COMPLICATED IS A NEW SYSTEM INSTALLATION?
That depends on the house and the system. While air conditioners and gas furnaces require different components, the common denominator is ductwork, which must be properly sized and zoned for proper system performance. Your contractor can evaluate your existing setup and tell you how simple your installation will be.
- WHAT DOES THE AIR HANDLER DO FOR MY SYSTEM?
An air handler circulates conditioned air throughout your home. You can combine it with accessories to filter, humidify or dehumidify the air stream as needed.
- WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY?
Indoor air can be from five to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Adding humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilation systems, UV lights and air filter technologies can dramatically improve your indoor air quality.