Signs that You Should Replace Your HVAC
If your heating or air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, if your furnace, boiler, or AC is running more often than usual, or if your energy bills have spiked, it might be time to replace your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. Replacing your HVAC system will help to heat and cool your home more efficiently and will save you money on your energy bills.
Before you shell out the big bucks for an entirely new HVAC system, you should have your home and your current system inspected for leaks. If these are what’s causing the problem, it’s going to be a lot more affordable to treat it.
The first step is to have a home energy audit performed by a home inspector. You may get a walk-through inspection or a more complex audit that includes infrared thermal imaging, which can reveal areas that are not airtight. In some situations, you can get rebates or discounts for making your home more energy efficient.
If you’re able to insulate your home and seal up any leaks, then less pressure will be put on your HVAC system and it will function far more efficiently. When your home inspector performs a home energy audit, it may be discovered that you don’t even need a new HVAC. If you find that you do need to replace the system, it can be sized correctly and will run better, which could help you save on your initial costs and future utility bills.
Hiring the Right HVAC Technician
In order to replace your HVAC, you’ll need to find a qualified HVAC professional. Ask for referrals, but still be sure that the technician is licensed since your HVAC system has a tremendous impact on your family’s comfort and health.
If an HVAC system isn’t properly sized or installed, it could leak toxic carbon monoxide gas into your home, cost you more money on your energy bill, be a source of mold growth (which can cause a whole host of health problems), or start a fire. Be sure that you hire a professional who has been certified by a legitimate board, such as NATE (North American Technician Excellence).
An HVAC technician will need to perform a load calculation in order to size your new heating and cooling system. This should not depend only on the size of your house. Many different factors, including the local weather, your need for ventilation, and your level of insulation, will need to be taken into account. If the technician does not seem to be calculating the load properly, or if he doesn’t adhere to the Quality Installation Specification, you should hire a different HVAC professional. You don’t want to put your family’s health and safety at risk.