What You Should Know When Choosing the Best HVAC System

HVAC systems have great impact on the quality of life that one has, and that is why it is relatively important to know what makes the best HVAC system.

Here are the guidelines that will allow you to get the best heating and cooling system.

Find the right furnace or heating equipment. A new furnace is always worth considering whether you already have an electric or a gas furnace.

For gas furnaces, it works by burning propane, natural gas or other fuel in the combustion chamber of the indoor unit to create heat. The air handler in the unit will draw air to the heat exchanger. It will then transfer the flame’s heat to the air. The air that’s heated will then be blown to your rooms through the ducts. Combustion fumes produced by the burned fuel will be exhausted by a flue pipe.

The rating for the efficiency of a fuel-burning furnace is by the AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency. This rating indicates the amount of fuel that is being burned to provide heat compared to the amount that’s lost in the exhaust fumes. This means that a furnace with a higher AFUE is more efficient.

Old furnaces have AFUEs of 56% while the most efficient models today have AFUE of 98.5%. The improvement in the efficiency of the air handler was the cause of most of the change.

HVAC System

In choosing an HVAC system, you will need to know the 3 types of air handlers.

Single-stage: the older furnaces have motors with just one speed setting which is high. And having only one setting will keep the motor running at its maximum capacity whether you need a lot or just little heating. Since there isn’t much need for having the furnace work at its maximum, a large amount of energy goes to waste.

Two-stage: two-stage motors have 2 speed settings which are low and high. Having the motor run at low is enough to keep a stable temperature so this will save more energy. It will be set to high only when you have high demand for heat.

Modulating or variable-speed: this motor can run at any speed within the set range. This lets you choose the accurate speed that is most efficient for your heating demand. With this, you will enjoy a more stable temperature and optimal energy efficiency.

Remember the efficiency of a furnace is greatly affected by the correct sizing. Make sure to have the technician follow Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J to be able to determine the right furnace needed for your home’s cooling and heating load.

Look for the efficient and high-performance HVAC system. To be able to determine which system is most efficient, it’s important that you understand the process of how the unit works. Air conditioners use a liquid called refrigerant to cool the room. This liquid is being circulated throughout the system. When the refrigerant passes through the evaporator coil, it will absorb heat and will remove moisture. The cooled and dehumidified air will then be blown through the ducts. The refrigerant that is now hot will be moved to the condenser coil which will remove the heat that is absorbed.

The efficiency of an HVAC system is rated by SEER or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This tells the amount of energy the system consumes compared to the amount of heat that it can remove. The higher the SEER value, the greater the efficiency. Upgrading a 10-year old unit to a recent model that has a higher SEER will reduce your bills by up to 20-40 percent.

In the south, the lowest SEER that is legally allowed is SEER 14; but SEER of 14.5 is required to meet the Energy Star standards while SEER 20 units aren’t common. A system with more than 16 SEER is preferable in our climate.
You can narrow your searches for an efficient unit if you look for certain features. Units with variable-speed scroll compressor are high-efficient systems. They are also quieter and they last longer. An evaporation coil that is all-aluminum is less prone to leaks and corrosion compared to a copper and steel evaporator coil.

When you choose a new system, there are more options than having a separate air conditioner and furnace. You can also have a heat pump which has refrigerant and works like an air conditioner for cooling. But it also has a reversing valve which allows the refrigerant to flow in a different direction, thus, heating your home by transferring the heat outside to your rooms.

Of all heating systems that are electric, a heat pump is the most efficient. Having a heat pump can reduce your bill by up to 30-40 percent if you use an electric resistance heating. It’s also safer than heating methods that include hot surfaces.

An air conditioner that is more than a decade old is due for replacement. And you might want to consider switching to heat pumps. You’ll have a model that’s highly efficient and can dehumidify better than an air conditioner.
If you don’t have a central ductwork, you can opt to a ductless heat pump which also includes an outdoor and an indoor unit. This will heat and cool your room without the need of having ducts.

The heat pump’s cooling efficiency is rated by SEER, too. However, the heating efficiency is rated by HSPF or heating seasonal performance factor. A heat pump should at least have an HSPF of 8.2 to meet the Energy Star standards.
Remember that forced-air systems’ efficiency is also affected by ducts. If you have a ductwork that is more efficient, then you can install a smaller and less expensive system.

A ductwork that is not in top condition can cause a number of problems so always make sure that it’s in best condition before you decide looking for a heat pump, an AC or a furnace.

In making sure that the ductwork doesn’t have any issues, you can start by checking the points where two ducts meet, where they join the registers, and where they join the air handler. They should all be tightly sealed with foil-backed tape or mastic. If they aren’t sealed tight or if they’re broke, then you’ll be losing 30% of the air that’s transported. It can even cause mold and moisture problems.

Ducts that are located in unconditioned spaces or the basement will need to be well insulated with fiberglass batts or duct-wrap insulation. This is to maintain the air’s temperature inside better. You can always seal and insulate the ducts yourself, but note a professional will ensure that optimal insulation and sealing material will be used for greatest efficiency.

While it’s not common to have dust and debris buildup in the ducts, it can reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system and may even damage the components. Know that it will also affect the quality of the air. If the ducts haven’t been cleaned for more than 5 years or if you have recently had renovations, it’s best to have the ductwork inspected before you purchase an HVAC system.

These are the things that you will need to keep in mind before you start purchasing an HVAC system. Once you have had all of these checked, then there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to have the best HVAC system for your home.