It does not matter if the home you live in is brand new, a century old or somewhere in between – you rely on your HVAC system to keep your family cool and comfortable in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter. With so much riding on your HVAC system, it is important to take good care of the components and make sure everything is running at peak efficiency.
An annual tune-up and regular inspections can greatly extend the useful life of your HVAC system. You can further extend that useful life by learning to do your own preventative maintenance and knowing what to look for and when to call for professional help. In the end, however, even the most diligent care cannot make your HVAC system last forever.
No matter how careful you are or how well you take care of your current system, eventually it will reach the end of its useful life. When that happens, you need to apply the same amount of dedication and research to finding a replacement HVAC system. Here are some important things to consider when buying a new HVAC system.
Type of System
Choosing the right type of HVAC system is very important, and you have two basic choices. Split systems use a condensing unit, a furnace and a coil that sits on top of the furnace, but they require a basement, or access to an attic or crawl space, to house all the components. These systems are great for those with the space, and they tend to run very efficiently and economically.
Homeowners who lack a basement and do not have access to an attic or crawl space can choose a packaged system, an HVAC design that provides all the benefits of a split without the extensive space requirements. When properly installed, a packaged system can be an excellent choice for all kinds of homeowners.
Type of Fuel
The type of fuel will obviously be an important consideration, since it will impact everything from your ongoing utility bills to the cost of the installation. If you already use a specific type of fuel, replacing your old HVAC system with the same type is the most straightforward approach, i.e. replace a gas furnace with a new gas furnace, etc.
If you are not happy with the fuel source you currently use, the replacement of your HVAC system gives you an opportunity to change. With the price of natural gas so low, many homeowners are making the switch and benefitting from the lower utility costs. Oil heat typically costs more, as does electric heating. It is important to weigh the costs and benefits of each fuel type before making a final decision.
No matter how you slice it, replacing your HVAC system is a big job. While modern HVAC systems are built to last and designed with quality components, installing the units can be costly and time-consuming. With so much time and money on the line, you want to make sure you are making the right choice, considering all the factors and weighing the potential benefits of each kind of unit.