Whether you’re building a new home or it’s time to replace your current HVAC system, there is a lot to think about when picking a new unit. Making the right choice is important because it will have a major impact on your daily comfort in the place you should feel most comfortable, your home. The obvious goal is to regulate the temperature in your household, but several other factors contribute to choosing the right HVAC system for you. Each case is unique when you consider the following factors: price, long-term cost, efficiency, size, control, maintenance, and the environment.
Price is the first factor that most people consider when shopping for a new HVAC system. The first number to consider is the price of the unit itself, HVAC systems have a wide range of price from $1,000 to systems that cost upwards of $20,000. The cost of installation is also a consideration; however, it is important to look at the bigger picture and consider long-term budget implications as well when making your decision. Heating and air conditioning will impact your utility bill, so also consider how your HVAC selection will impact your monthly budget. Your HVAC also needs to work efficiently, if you opt for a cheaper option that does not perform adequately, you will wind up spending money on wasted energy or even worse, you’ll have to purchase a replacement. Begin your search with a budget range in order to narrow down your options, consider the long-term costs, and above all consider your household’s needs because an HVAC system that doesn’t get the job done is a waste of money.
Unit Price and Installation
The price of HVAC systems varies greatly, and regardless of the type you choose the price will also be impacted by the size of your home and the local climate. Additionally, the price of installation varies based on the unit type so make sure to request a quote that includes installation. These short-term costs should be weighed along with the following long-term costs to make a well-informed financial decision.
Long-Term HVAC Costs
The long-term costs of an HVAC system will impact you financially for the lifespan of the machine. An HVAC system that seems like a bargain up-front could end up costing you more money than it would have cost to buy a more expensive system. The opposite is also true, an expensive HVAC system could end up saving you money over time. The energy source, efficiency, lifespan and maintenance requirements of the system are all long-term costs to consider.
Price of Energy Source
Different types of HVAC systems run on different energy sources–some units run on electricity, others burn fuel, and some utilize energy from their environment to produce heating and cooling. Gas furnaces typically use natural gas or propane to regulate the temperature of your home, the main thing to consider with gas units is that the price of these fuels is subject to change so there is no guarantee that your monthly bill will be consistent. Most electric HVAC systems rely on energy from coal-burning power plants so your energy costs could still fluctuate due to external factors. Heat pump systems also rely on electricity to operate but to a lesser extent since they draw natural heat energy from outside your home, so the price of your electric bill could still fluctuate but the financial impact would be less extreme than with other electric systems.
Regardless of your energy source, an efficient system will save you money and an inefficient system will be costly. The efficiency of the unit refers to how much energy is required to produce an adequate amount of heat or cooling for your space. Choosing a machine that gets the job done using less energy will save you money each month and those savings can really add up over time. Efficient systems such as geothermal heat pumps are pricey upfront, but they will pay for themselves in the long run in terms of annual energy cost savings.
Cost of Maintenance
The maintenance requirements of your HVAC system are another long-term cost worth considering. Staying on top of your system’s maintenance is important because it can extend the life of the machine, improve efficiency and detect any minor issues before they escalate. The price and frequency of routine maintenance varies by system and should be researched prior to your final decision.
Your Household’s Needs
Your home is unique—your HVAC system needs to work in harmony with the people who live there as well as the building itself. The size and build of your home as well as the way you utilize different spaces will help determine which HVAC unit is right for you.
The Size of your Home and the Size of the Unit
It is crucial that the size of your HVAC unit is appropriate for the size of your home. A system that is too small will not adequately control the temperature in your home and it will be inefficient and overworked which will likely reduce its lifespan. It is more common for people to buy a unit that is too large. This comes with its own set of issues. An oversized system will cool your home quickly, but it will not need to run long enough to absorb the moisture in the air, creating a cold and humid feeling inside your home. Humidity is uncomfortable and can lead to mold problems. A system that is too large will also cause you to make constant adjustments to your thermostat because the heating and cooling will overwhelm your space instead of regulating it.
Control Different Spaces
The goal of an HVAC system is to provide comfort for the people in your home, but not everyone has the same idea of what is comfortable. Additionally, many homes have specific rooms that tend to run hot or cold based on factors like insulation and sunlight. A zoned HVAC system is the solution to both problems. They allow you to control the heating and air in a specific room or zone instead of the whole home. A zoned system could also save you money if there are rooms in your home that you don’t typically use; and therefore, do not want to waste money heating and cooling.
The final factor that you might want to consider is the environmental impact of your HVAC system. Electric units that rely on coal-burning power will leave the greatest carbon footprint. Natural gas systems will also negatively impact the environment but comparatively less because natural gas burns cleaner than coal. A geothermal heat pump system is the most environmentally friendly system that is commonly available, and any electric system can be green if it is powered by a renewable energy source such as solar or wind power.
Seek out Guidance from an HVAC Professional
HVAC systems can seem complicated, but with some help from the experienced professionals at City Heat and Air, you can feel confident that you made the right choice. For over 60 years, City Heating and Air Conditioning has been helping East Tennessee homeowners through the process of choosing and installing the perfect HVAC system for their home. They can also provide you with maintenance services to ensure that your system is running efficiently and will continue to do so for many years to come. Call City Heating and Air at (865)938-1005.