With any substantial renovations come substantial costs. And in the case of heating and cooling your home, those costs aren’t just going to be at the install. An inappropriate choice in your residential air conditioning decisions could nickel and dime you to death through the subsequent years. So take the time to be well informed and make well-educated choices before you commit to the significant cost that is your HVAC.
What is HVAC?
HVAC is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It applies to both commercial and residential air conditioning and heating. It’s the ductwork that pulls the air into the heating/residential air conditioning system and then vents the cooled or heated air back out into the house. The ideal HVAC system is the one designed to keep your home at the perfect temperature with minimal energy input.
How many types of HVAC systems are there?
As many as there needs to be. Each system is different and unique to the house, but, in general, there are six major types of residential air conditioning and heating:
- Split Systems
- Humidity Controlled
Talking with your contractor and the HVAC experts will help guide you through choosing the right system for your house. Boilers and furnaces are designed for heating; split systems (and multi-splits) are more flexible. Humidity control requires a special system that both adds and removes moisture from the air as needed.
The best way to go about selecting the right one of these is to talk to the HVAC Company you hire to do the installation. Ask for their input, and then research out from there. Come to the conversation prepared with what you want your system to accomplish, and how much you’ve got budgeted to spend, and they’ll be able to help you out from there.
What is Seer?
Seer is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. For residential air conditioning, the minimum allowed ratio is a .13 which is, all things considered, laughably low. The average ratio is more like a 13. The higher the ratio, the more efficient the system, but that also means the more expensive the system.
How to choose the best unit for a given situation?
Aside from talking to the HVAC Company, and deciding what you need your system to accomplish, picking out the best is as simple as looking at the cost and efficiency ratio. The ratio isn’t the SEER ratio; this is one that you determine. Look at the cost of the system, and compare it to the efficacy. Find something that you can afford, and can live with, because it will be you living with it. And going under budget with a less efficient residential air conditioning system at the installation time won’t be doing yourself any favors down the road any more than blowing your budget on a big expensive system that won’t make up the difference in cost during your lifetime.