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A new HVAC system is one of the largest appliance expenses in the entire house – and will have a huge impact on energy bills for many years to come. That means it’s worth taking time and careful research before making your installation decisions!
But since HVAC units are rarely replaced, many homeowners aren’t exactly sure where to begin, or what they need. To help out, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Hire An Experienced Contractor
An HVAC installation isn’t really something homeowners can tackle by themselves without professional experience. Making sure the system is wired incorrectly, works properly with your thermostat, has proper drainage, and so on, all takes expertise – which is why it’s important to hire an experienced contractor. Look for contractors that are licensed and insured, and specifically ask if they have experience in the brand of unit that you are considering. Call the contractor early to arrange an installation date that will work with your schedule.
Make Sure Your Unit Is Properly Sized
Sizing refers to matching the HVAC unit with the size of your house or room. This is a particularly important stage to complete before you make your final purchase. A unit rated for a smaller area will run too long and show poor performance. A unit rated for a larger area will constantly shut on and off, wasting energy while causing wear and tear. Know the square feet of your space, and shop accordingly when looking for the perfect installation!
Don’t Try Installing a Used Unit
In most cases, the money you save buying a used HAVC unit won’t match the money you’ll lose trying to install and run it. Used units often need extra work and repair after being removed from the original building – and there’s less guarantee that they can easily fit into your overall heating/cooling system. Additionally, they are likely to nee more maintenance and tend to have problems with age, leaks, and even structural damage caused by the move. Buy a new unit to avoid all these problems, and get a more efficient HVAC system as a bonus.
Protect Your Outdoor Unit
Many HVAC installations require an outside component (usually if you are installing central AC or a heat pump). It’s important to protect this outdoor unit from debris, falling leaves, snow – and even theft. Make sure your installation includes plans for barriers, fencing or cages around the unit to make sure it continues to run well….and doesn’t disappear.
Wiring, pipes, ductwork…an HVAC installation requires a lot of parts that go into your home. That tends to create a lot of gaps during the installation process: Left unfilled, those gaps will leak air and push up energy bills. Make sure they are properly insulated by the time the installation is finished.