Planning ahead for an HVAC upgrade can be a good use of your time, since these are likely to be the most complex appliances you have inside your home. HVAC equipment also lasts for years, so making an informed choice can save you a good deal of money and increase your comfort during its lifetime. Here are the basics you need to know to choose a new HVAC system:
Combustion heating systems carry efficiency ratings called AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). The minimum stands at 78, which means the furnace or boiler utilizes only 78 percent of the fuel it uses to heat your home. Currently, systems are available with AFUE ratings that reach 99, which are the most efficient of all combustion furnaces. Since our region doesn’t require extensive heating, a furnace with an AFUE rating between 85 and 90 will give you efficient heating.
Our largest conditioning load occurs in the summer and opting for a central air conditioner with a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) will noticeably cut your cooling bills. The minimum rating available is 13 SEER and the ratings can go into the mid-20s. Energy Star equipment SEER ratings start at 14 SEER.
Choosing a heat pump as the HVAC upgrade makes sense, especially if your heating system and central air conditioner both need replacing. In addition to the SEER rating, a heat pump has an HSPF (heating season performance factor) that describes its heating efficiency. The minimum HSPF is 7.7 and units are available with an HSPF that exceed 10. Heat pumps work like air conditioners in the summer, and reverse the flow of refrigerant in the winter to move heat indoors instead of outside, as they do in the summer.
Ductless mini splits don’t require a network of ducts to distribute the conditioned air and are good for small spaces or those that would be hard to otherwise heat and cool, like room additions or remodeled spaces.
To learn more about an HVAC upgrade, contact Indoor Solutions, Inc., providing HVAC services for Columbus area homeowners since 2003.