5 Reasons to Get a New HVAC System
There are some obvious signs that you need a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and then there are some more subtle clues. While you can’t ignore a broken system, you may not think about how close you are to a replacement, or how much more you could be getting — and saving — if you opt for a new HVAC. Here are five of the best reasons to install a new system now.
1. System Deterioration
HVAC systems break down over time. Some issues are repairable, while others simply aren't worth your time or money. And that’s not all: If left untreated, small problems like blocked filters and clogged blowers can lead to system failure — or worse.
Over time, a lack of airflow across the heat exchanger in your furnace can cause cracks, and those cracks can lead to harmful carbon monoxide emissions in your home. Fortunately, that fate is easy to avoid when you spot the issue early and solve the problem.
Even when an issue with your HVAC system is fixable, it’s often worth considering a new installation, especially on older systems. Repairing an older system will cost you more in repairs in the long run.
2. Update an Outdated System
If your air conditioning system was built before 2010, it likely runs on R-22 Freon refrigerant. And as of January 1, 2020, Freon R-22 was no longer manufactured or imported. It now costs a lot more to repair older systems that use R-22.
If you’re contemplating a repair, ask yourself: is it worth paying more now AND continue to pay more on future repairs of your decades-old air conditioning system?
Over the past couple of years, many homeowners have been switching to more efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning units that use Freon’s replacement, R-410A. It may be time for you to do the same!
3. Improve Energy Efficiency
Heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy used in a typical US home, according to the Department of Energy.
Energy is expensive, but you can pay less each month by updating your HVAC unit. As systems age, they become less efficient at converting energy into heat. That means it costs more to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, and that cost will accumulate the longer you live with an inefficient system.
4. Renovating Your Space
Undergoing a home renovation? Now’s a great time to consider a new system. If you’re adding rooms to your house, you may need to extend heating and cooling into those spaces: You can run central air into additional rooms by adding ducts, or you can consider going with a ductless system.
Both types of system use an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. The main difference between the two is how air is distributed: Central air uses ducts and vents to circulate air throughout the house, while a ductless system circulates air directly from the indoor air-handling unit (that’s usually mounted on the wall).
Ductless Options for New Spaces
A single-zone ductless heat pump system will extend heat and cool air into a single room, and it consists of one indoor unit and one outdoor compressor.
Multi-zone mini-splits, unlike single-zone mini-splits, extend heat and cool air into multiple rooms in a home, with up to eight indoor units and one outdoor compressor.
Ductless systems come in a range of styles to compliment the design of your new space. Ductless system designs include freestanding units, wall-mounted options, concealed ducts, and systems that suspend from the ceiling. The units are relatively small and vary in color.
Resized Central HVAC Unit
If your renovation involves adding more insulation or buying Energy Star windows, the heating and cooling load in your house will drop. Your current furnace and air conditioner will likely be too large, and oversized HVAC units waste energy. This is an excellent time to consider resizing your unit.
If you’re adding new rooms to your home and decide to go with central air, your HVAC system will require more energy. It’s important to consider what size of unit you’ll need to deliver air to new spaces.
5. A More Comfortable Home
Different systems heat, ventilate, and condition your air differently. Forced air systems, which are common in the United States, blow air and radiant (hydronic or water-based heat) systems transfer heat directly to the air. Here’s how each can make you feel:
With a forced air system: - You’ll feel warm or cool air in all the rooms. - You may experience more allergies. Because air is blown into rooms, dust and allergens in the air will circulate, too. - You may notice patches of cool and warm air. That’s because the air is collected and warmed or cooled in the heat exchanger, and then gets released to the room.
With radiant heat: - You’ll feel a blanket of heat in any room with a radiator. This is because the heat is transferred directly to objects in the room: As it rises, heat travels to you and anything else in the room. - You’ll feel colder in rooms with less furniture. - You won’t enjoy the benefit of cool air in warmer weather. Radiant heat provides heat only, no cool air conditioning.
A new HVAC system is a major decision, and while the cost may be high, keep in mind that putting it off for too long can drive that price tag even higher. Whether you’re making sweeping changes to your space or would just like to see a smaller energy bill, there are some good reasons to look into an HVAC install sooner rather than later.
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