Selecting the Ideal HVAC System

by | Aug 13, 2015 | Blog | 0 comments

Replacing your HVAC system is one of the more expensive projects that you’ll need to do for your home. Even though you’ll eventually have to replace your roof, windows, and water heater, your HVAC system needs attention more frequently. It usually lasts around 15 years on average. Once it comes time for you to look at a new HVAC system, Boulden Brothers are here to help. We’ll take the headache out of figuring out the best option for your home, and that all begins with determining the ideal efficiency and size of the system.

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The size of the air conditioner is based on tonnage, and the size of the furnace is based on BTU output. There’s also a broad range of efficiency in our area for air conditioning. We use a rating unit called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER for short. SEER is calculated by dividing the cooling output during a typical cooling season by the total energy input that the system uses during this same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating, the more efficient it is. We’re federally mandated to have a minimum of 14 SEER, but we can even go as high as 25 SEER.

We try to walk you through the decision so you can choose something that meets your criteria for cost/energy savings. Keep in mind, the investment in the system does increase as the efficiency increases. The question is, is it a good long-term decision to choose a system based solely off of energy savings? Are you going to recoup the investment in a reasonable time period? If you’re looking for energy savings, you don’t want to assume that choosing a more efficient system will save a certain amount of money over the system’s lifespan.

There are also HVAC systems that have more than one stage. With two stages, the system can run at a high/low setting. A variable system that has several stages can ramp up or down depending on the heating/cooling needs of the home. That can certainly have a big impact on comfort. It’s important to note that the longer a system is able to run at a very low speed, the more consistent the temperature will be in the house.

When it comes to determining a properly sized unit for the home, we take all the guesswork out of the equation and make the decision for you. We’ll do a complete engineering analysis on the physical structure of the house. That includes the type of walls, the amount of insulation, ceilings, roof pitch, window dimensions, number of doors, and which cardinal direction the structure is facing. All of these factors will determine how much heat the house will absorb in the summer and how much heat will be lost in the wintertime. We’ll enter this data into a computer, which will accurately illustrate the heat loss or heat gain for the home.

Of course, there’s a bit of wiggle room depending on the type of system being installed. You might want a larger multistage or variable system, depending on the circumstances. However, we certainly never want to install less than what the home would need. The homeowner just isn’t equipped to make this decision, since it’s based upon so many factors. That’s why Boulden Brothers is here to make sure this important process is handled correctly.

If you were to have a heating/cooling contractor that just assumed that the old system was the correct size, it could lead to trouble. If the system isn’t ideally sized for the home, you’re not going to have optimal comfort and/or the lowest possible operating cost. The system would either end up short-cycling because it’s too large or it would work too hard because it’s too small. Neither of those cases are good for your home. Your comfort would suffer or you’d see additional cost and fuel/energy consumption.

Get the job done right when it comes to getting a new HVAC system. Give us a call today or contact us online so we can help you get started.

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