The Best Heating and AC System for Your Home

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The right HVAC unit will make keeping cool in the summer nothing to sweat about.

What’s the heart of your house? Some might argue it’s your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. Choosing the right system will ensure your home is comfortable, no matter what the weather is like outside. But if you chose the wrong one, or don’t care for it correctly, its performance — and your comfort — will suffer.

Size matters.

Choosing the right-sized HVAC system is critical for comfort and efficiency. If the your heat pump or air conditioner is too small, it will struggle to maintain the right temperatures. If it’s too big, it will cycle on and off constantly, which will wear out the machine and prevent moisture control.

To be sure you are making the right choice, consider having a professional conduct a load calculation of your home to determine how many BTUs you need to efficiently heat and cool the space, suggests the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

Match the system to the ducts.

When people remodel older homes, they may think buying a larger HVAC system will add efficiencies. But if the ductwork is designed for a smaller system, it won’t perform properly. In fact, it will be noisy, add moisture and block airflow, according to the ACCA. If you feel a bigger system is essential, you may need to upgrade your ductwork as well.

Don’t wait till it breaks.

A heating and air conditioning system is like a sports car — it needs regular maintenance and tune-ups to work effectively. Have your HVAC system checked twice annually by a professional to look for duct leaks, equipment malfunctions or inefficiencies in the system that could cause it to break down, the ACCA suggests. This will keep your heating and air conditioning system operating effectively and allow you to identify problems before the weather turns. Sears Home Services offers a biannual heating and cooling preventive maintenance program to help.

If one piece fails, it could be smarter to replace it all.

If you have an older HVAC system, it might be difficult to find matching equipment, such as an outside air conditioning unit that will work with older internal technology. An HVAC expert can help you identify the manufacturer numbers that show equipment compatibility.

A new system can add efficiencies.

Older models use a lot of energy, which translates to higher bills. To maintain efficiencies, Energy Star recommends replacing heat pumps and air conditioners that are more than 10 years old, and furnaces or boilers that are 15 years old. If you notice your energy costs going up, or find that certain rooms are too hot, too cold or overly humid, this can also be a sign that it’s time to upgrade. See how much you could potentially save on your energy bills with our AFUE Savings Calculator and our SEER Savings Calculator.

Consider mini-splits to easily add AC.

If you live in an older home without ducts, or you’re building an addition and don’t want to extend your existing AC system, mini-splits offer a cost-effective alternative. These ductless air conditioners can cool one or many rooms with fans linked to an outdoor condenser that connects through a small hole drilled in an exterior wall. Fan units can be installed anywhere in the home, up to 50 feet away from the condenser, for an instant, targeted cooling system.

Warm weather’s upon us. Make sure you stay cool this summer. Schedule an HVAC appointment today.