If you’re buying a new air conditioner and heater, here are a few things to consider to find the right HVAC system for your home.
Many factors go into choosing a new HVAC system. Whether you’re moving into a brand-new home or replacing your current system, you need to know a few important things.
Obviously, climate plays a major role in your decision, but there are many other factors to take into consideration as well. Although most people replace their HVAC with something just like it, it’s good to know what to ask to pinpoint what’s best for your needs. Russ Katsov, a HVAC expert for Sears Home Services, is here to help.
Q: What’s the most important thing to consider when buying an HVAC?
A: The region you live in, but it’s even more specific than that. It’s about what climate you live in. They get snow in Nevada’s Mount Charleston; that weather’s very different from what you’ve got in Las Vegas. The type of equipment you have also has a big impact on what you may need to be the most effective and efficient unit for the application.
Q: What about humidity?
A: If you live in Florida, for example, you’ll want a system with good humidity control — something with a two-stage compressor and a variable-speed air handler, which moves heated or cooled air through your ductwork.
The two-stage (as opposed to a single-stage) compressor is energy efficient and does a better job in a humid area because it is able to kick up to a higher speed for those hot, humid days and settle back to a lower speed for milder days.
Q: What type of system is best in a dry climate?
A: If you’re in a city like Phoenix, you’re probably looking for temperature relief and aren’t as concerned with humidity control. If you’ve got high air conditioning usage and high electric rates, you want to go with something efficient.
Q: Does it matter if I use gas or electric?
A: In hot places where there’s little need for heating systems, people use a heat pump or straight electric. There are also hybrid systems that can switch fuels depending on the temperature and the needs of the house.
Q: Do larger families need a larger HVAC system?
A: Everything in your home puts some impact on your system and adds to heat gain, from the number of refrigerators and dishwashers you have to how your house is configured as well as the number of people living in it. And if you have a home with leaky windows and little insulation, you’re going to need a different sized system from someone with a tighter home that’s better insulated.
Q: What types of systems are available?
A: There are probably more than 30 configurations of HVAC systems. The basics include heat pumps, forced-air furnaces, and hot water/hydronic heating systems. For cooling, there are central cooling systems and heat pumps.
There are various options within each system, such as a split AC system, which has an indoor section and an outdoor section connected with wires and copper tubing to connect to ductwork. A package system is one unit that connects directly to the ductwork.
Then, of course, there are the accessories like humidifiers, UV lights, electronic air cleaners and attic ventilators. Sears carries a full line of top brands for all of these products.