Right-size your unit
An electronic load calculation performed by a trained contractor can scientifically match the right unit to your home. It takes into account your home’s size, directional orientation, window configuration, insulation and more. An electronic load calculation is especially valuable if you’ve made any insulation or structural modifications to your home.
Listen to me!
I have some
Make sure your refrigerant is up-to-date
Units manufactured prior to 2010 may use R-22 refrigerant. The newer generation of R410A/Puron Refrigerant can bump the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) from 13 to 22, improving unit efficiency up to 7%. Statistics show that units using this refrigerant have fewer warranty incidents and compressor failures. It’s also a non-ozone depleting product.
Use the right filtration system
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates an average person breathes in two teaspoons of pollutants each day. Adding electronic air cleaners to your new system can filter out up to 95% of pollutants like pollen, bacteria, plant spores, dust and more.
Look for the Energy Star® logo
Established by the EPA in 1962, The Energy Star program provides energy efficiency ratings on products with the goal of saving you money and protecting our environment. Energy Star rated heating and air conditioning products, when properly sized and installed, can save you up to 20% on your annual energy bills. Look for the Energy Star® logo. Units labeled “Energy Efficient” may not adhere to the same strict standards.
may not adhere to the same strict standards.
Know your contractor
Is your contractor licensed, bonded and insured? What material and labor warranties do they provide? Do they obtain the proper permits and follow all local and regional codes and regulations? How reliable are they? Have they worked in your area? Be sure to ask these questions before you hire.
Don’t neglect the ductwork
Your heating and air conditioning unit is only as good as the ducts it uses. Duct design, cleanliness and system size all factor into performance and efficiency. Be sure to discuss this with your contractor before you decide on a system.
Maximize your investment with insulation
You won’t get the most out of your new system without proper insulation. If you have an older home, or if it seems like your furnace or air conditioner is running constantly, be sure to discuss improving your “R” value with your contractor to get the most out of your new investment.
Insist on service down the road
Don’t forget to examine your contractor’s warranty coverage. Look for plans that cover the product, labor and parts. Consider the length of coverage and cost of service calls as well. Most importantly, ask yourself if the contractor will be around in 10 years to service what they installed.
HVAC works best when paired to the region where you live. Heat pumps work better in southern locations, while furnaces or oil burning heating units are better suited to the northeast. Be sure your contractor takes your region into account when discussing your system.
Consider the long-term costs
While a bargain unit may look appealing, it could wind up costing you much more over time. Don’t forget to factor in installation and energy costs, long term reliability and potential compromises in your standard of living