Replacing your current HVAC system is a big undertaking for any homeowner. If your unit is old, inefficient, or in need of constant repair, it may be time to upgrade. However, it’s always a good idea to research thoroughly to ensure you’re installing the right equipment for your home. Read on as we answer the most common questions homeowners ask when considering an HVAC system replacement.
Question 1: Will requesting an estimate be free of charge?
Most HVAC companies provide a free, no obligation estimate for equipment and installation. When requesting the estimate, make sure your contractor includes costs for parts, labor, specific warranties (if applicable), and travel charges. Many equipment manufacturers give rebates if you purchase within a certain time period. Ask your HVAC professional about money-back rebates and how to apply.
Question 2: What size system do I need?
It’s important to make sure your HVAC equipment is sized correctly. If too small, it may not regulate the temperature of your home. If too large, the unit will not work as efficiently, may wear out faster, and possibly result in dehumidification issues. The process of sizing is complex and should not be done on your own. Contact an HVAC professional to set up an inspection to determine the unit that’s right for you.
Question 3: Is zoned heating and cooling really better?
The simple answer is: Maybe. If your home is older and you experience drastic temperature variance throughout, a multi-zone HVAC system may be a good idea. A “zoned” system divides the home into different temperature areas, each controlled by a dedicated thermostat. That means more control over your home’s temperature and more comfort for you and your loved ones. A zoned system is ideal for multi-level homes with cathedral or vaulted ceilings, picture windows, finished basements/attics, and multiple spare bedrooms. If you’re considering installing zoned HVAC, ask your heating and cooling professional for guidance.
Question 4: Is an energy-efficient HVAC system worth the added cost?
Again, maybe. There’s a lot of information regarding federal tax credits for homeowners who install energy efficient equipment such as furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. You may qualify for up to $500 in tax credits thanks to a federal rebate incentive. However, not all energy efficient units qualify. When weighing your options, consider the equipment’s lifetime operating costs and not just the initial price tag. Check with your heating and cooling company for specifications and guidelines to help you make an informed decision.
Question 5: What type of service plan should I choose to protect and maintain my system?
It’s important to weigh all your options when considering service for your new HVAC system. Instead of paying for individual repairs and maintenance visits, you can select a service plan through your heating and cooling company. It’s a good idea to compare prices and coverage of what’s included in the plan. Service contracts usually cover the following:
- Labor costs of annual/semi-annual planned maintenance visits to check, clean, and adjust the equipment.
- Labor costs for planned schedueld maintenance but unplanned repairs.
- Labor costs for both maintenance and repair, as well as parts replacement (if necessary).
Whatever route you decide to go, your HVAC system will need planned yearly maintenance. Ask your heating and cooling professional for advice and suggestions.
Upgrading your HVAC system is a big investment; however, it’s also a good opportunity to improve the comfort of your home, air quality, and energy efficiency, and maybe save on utility bills. Do your research to select the equipment that’s right for you and your family.