When installing a new HVAC system or replacing your old system, you have a wide range of different options to consider. Choosing the right option for your home is essential for your year-round comfort and can also make a major difference in your energy bills. This article will explain the main factors to consider when choosing a new HVAC system to help you determine which option will best meet your cooling and heating needs.

1. Central vs. Ductless

More and more people are opting to install ductless HVAC systems when building a new home. Part of the reason for this is that ductless systems take up less space since they eliminate the need to have ductwork running throughout the home. Another reason is that ductless systems are more energy efficient than central HVAC systems. This is because as the air produced by a central HVAC system travels through the air ducts, it usually gains some heat in summer and loses some heat in winter. That means that a central HVAC system isn’t capable of cooling and heating quite as quickly as a ductless system. Many central HVAC systems also develop issues like duct leaks over time that lead to them wasting energy.

One other advantage of a ductless system is that it provides zoned temperature control. That’s because each indoor unit is independent, which allows you to adjust the temperature in each room instead of having to set one temperature for the entire house. Nonetheless, you can also do this if you choose to install a zoned central HVAC system. That is because type of system also has multiple thermostats that control the temperature for different rooms or zones.

If you’re building a new home, a ductless system will cost less since you won’t need to pay to have ductwork installed. If your home already has a ducted HVAC system and you’re just looking to replace it, you’re almost always better to stick with a central system. That’s mainly because just replacing your air conditioner, heat pump or furnace will almost always cost you a bit less than installing a ductless system. This is especially true if your home is larger since you would usually need to install at least two separate ductless systems.

2. Type of Cooling and Heating

The next thing to consider is what type of cooling and/or heating you want to install. That normally means choosing between installing both a furnace and air conditioner or a heat pump. If you’re installing a ductless system, you’ll also need to decide between a mini-split AC and a mini-split heat pump. The type of heating and/or cooling you choose will directly impact how much your HVAC system costs to install and also how much it costs to run.

Opting for a central or ductless heat pump is a great choice since it will provide both heating and cooling instead of just one or the other. Another reason is that a heat pump will cost you less than you’d pay to install both an air conditioner and any type of heating unit like a furnace.

Heat pumps are all electric, which means that they don’t produce carbon emissions as gas furnaces do. That means installing one for your home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help to protect the environment. Another major advantage is that heat pumps are the most energy-efficient type of heating. This means you’ll pay much less to heat your home than you would if you chose any other heating option. Heat pumps are an especially great choice in California where it rarely ever gets cold enough for them to stop working as efficiently.

One other factor you may want to take into consideration when deciding what type of HVAC system to install is life expectancy. The lifespan of furnaces and air conditioners is typically around 15-20 years. Heat pumps, on the other hand, usually last for 10-15 years since they get much more use. While the shorter lifespan for a heat pump is a drawback, it’s not as big of one as you may think. That’s because you’ll usually still save money with a heat pump since you only have to install a single unit. It will heat your home for much less than you’d pay if you chose any other type of heating.

3. Energy Efficiency

Once you’ve determined what type of system you want to install, the next thing to focus on is energy efficiency. Each type of heating and cooling unit uses different ratings to measure how efficiently it works. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings are used to measure the efficiency of air conditioners and also the efficiency of heat pumps when they’re cooling. Heat pumps also have a second HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) rating that tells you how efficiently they work when heating.

SEER and HSPF ratings are a ratio of cooling or heating output in British Thermal Units (BTUs) to the total kilowatt-hours of electricity the unit typically uses in an average season. The higher this ratio is, the more efficiently the unit works and the less it will cost you to run. These ratings look at the average efficiency over an entire season. This is because the efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps continually fluctuates based on the outdoor temperature and how humid it is outside.

The efficiency of furnaces is expressed in their AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. Most conventional gas furnaces are 80 AFUE, which means that only 80% of the energy they use goes into heating the home. The remaining 20% is lost because latent heat remains in the combustion fumes as they get vented outside. Condensing furnaces range between 90 and 98.5 AFUE, which means they’re much more efficient and waste less energy than conventional furnaces.

No matter what type of HVAC system you choose to install, you’re always best to choose the highest-efficiency unit you can find within your price range or budget. Even though you’ll have to pay more for a higher-efficiency system, it will generally always pay off in the long run by keeping your energy bills much lower.

4. Sizing

The last thing is ensuring that your HVAC system is the proper size for your home and the local climate. This is something that you’ll need to have an HVAC company do. Getting the proper size system is key to both ensuring it can always keep your home comfortable and minimizing the amount of energy it uses. The size of your system can also impact how long it lasts since oversized and undersized systems almost always end up failing prematurely.

Sizing a central or ductless HVAC system is quite complicated as there are a wide range of factors that need to be taken into account. That’s why it’s essential that you choose a knowledgeable, experienced and reputable HVAC ccompany to ensure that you don’t end up wasting money on a system that is larger or smaller than what you actually need.

Your Reliable HVAC Experts

If you want to ensure that you get the right type and size of HVAC system for your home, Environmental Heating & Air Solutions is the company to turn to for help. We are NATE and BPI certified. Our team has years of experience in designing and installing all types of HVAC systems. We carry a wide range of heat pumps, air conditioners, furnaces and ductless mini-splits from trusted brands like Lennox.

Also, our team can help you determine which option is the best fit for your home and budget. We also offer professional maintenance and repair services to help ensure your HVAC continues functioning efficiently for years to come. Contact us today to learn all about your HVAC installation options in Northern California or to schedule any air conditioning, heating or plumbing service.

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