Add Value To Your Home With A New HVAC System

One of the major selling points to a home is the type of heating and cooling system in place. When you’re looking to sell your home, one of the home improvements that can not only add value to the property but also reduce the time it will be on the market is an energy efficient HVAC system. Unlike other home improvements that only are aesthetic, a new HVAC system can save money off heating and cooling bills for decades to come. 

New Versus Old HVAC Systems

An older HVAC system, especially those 20 years or older, can drive energy bills up and cost much more to both heat and cool a home. While older systems may have efficiency ratings of 50-75%, newer systems can have rating of up to 99%. Since heating and cooling a home can be over 50% of the overall energy bill each month, this can save hundreds of dollars, even well over a thousand, each year. By investing in a new HVAC replacement system that’s more efficient, this can lead to a tangible savings that can help your home sell over a comparable home with an older, less efficient system. 

Not many home improvements can actually save money for the home owner in the long run. A newly remodeled kitchen or bathroom may look nice, but will have little actual monetary value when it comes to monthly bills and the home’s value. For many looking to sell their home in the next few years, especially older homes, upgrading the HVAC system may be the best investment you can make to increase your home’s value and save you money on your energy bills until the sale.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Is My Single Zone System Inferior To A Two Zone System?

Most homes in the Unites States will have either one or two HVAC systems, while some very large homes will have three or systems.  A system includes an indoor air unit as well as a condenser, which is located on the exterior of the home.  The number of systems depends upon several factors including the size of the home and the layout.  

A qualified HVAC contractor will make a series of calculations to determine the heating and cooling load on the home, while looking at the insulation, windows and doors, which factor into the heat gain and loss.  The results of these calculations, as well as the requirements of the building and mechanical code, will determine the size of the system.  Once the size is determined, the HVAC contractor will then determine if a one or two zone system will be required, based upon the load and the layout of the home.  Often, while it is possible to use a single system based upon the heating and cooling load, the layout of the home, as well as the structural design, prevents the HVAC contractor from providing heating and cooling to all parts of the house. 

The HVAC contractor will install the most efficient system in your home to meet the heating and cooling needs.  This design will be the most economical to install as well as the most economically to operate.  As a homeowner, there is not need to worry that a single zone system is inferior to a two zone system!

Converting Appliances From LP to Natural Gas

In the past, appliances could be converted from propane to natural gas. However, today’s appliances are manufactured specifically to be used with only one type of fuel. They are purposely engineered to not be convertible. This has resulted primarily because of individual home consumers who believed that simply changing out the orifice of the appliance was enough to convert, at great personal risk to their safety and the structure of their home.

In addition to the orifices, other factors need to be addressed in a gas conversion. Appliances are “converted” by changing the internal parts to coincide with the different pressures of different gases. The appliance regulators (which control the amount of pressure under which gas is released) and burners may possibly need replacement. There may also be a need for new venting. For some appliances, gas conversion kits are available; however, the conversion should still be handled by gas appliance professionals, who will ensure that all the necessary adjustments have been made prior to actually operating converted appliance.

Regardless of the gas preferred, both propane and natural gas vapors can be dangerous and tremendously explosive. Your home should periodically be inspected for gas leaks. Gas fired appliances can also have problems with carbon monoxide or improper combustion. An inspector will look for clues, such as size of pilot flame, to make sure that there is a correct ratio of air to gas. Given the potential volatility of making such a conversion, it should be performed only by a licensed technician. If you are considering a conversion, please contact your local HVAC contractor to help clarify all of your questions and concerns.

The Right Size Heating And Cooling System

Replacing an older, inefficient heating and cooling system is a great way to save money on your energy bills.  Heating and cooling accounts for more than half the energy usage in the home and new heating and cooling systems are much more energy efficient than those installed just ten years ago.

When choosing a replacement system, it is very important to choose a system that is properly sized for your home in order to maximize efficiency and comfort while minimizing the initial cost and operating costs over the life of the system.  An air conditioning or heating system that does not have enough capacity will not be able to keep your home comfortable, but the most common mistake is to install a system that is too large.

Don’t let your HVAC contractor simply install a system that is the same size as the existing system.  Before homes were tightly built to minimize air leaks, it was very common to install a system that was too large and if you have improved your home by installing weather stripping, additional insulation, or energy efficient windows then replacing the system with a similarly sized system will result in a system that is much too large.

Make sure your HVAC contractor does a proper calculation that takes into account the size of your home, your location, how well insulated the home is, the number of occupants living in the home, number and type of lights in the home, and other factors that affect the size of the system.  A system that is too large will have a higher initial cost, higher operating cost, more breakdowns, will not keep your home and family as comfortable as a properly sized unit.

Be Wary of Low-Ball HVAC Quotes

Whether you are replacing a heat pump, furnace, or central air conditioning system, it’s always a good idea to get three or four proposals from different HVAC contractors before choosing a contractor to handle the job.  The only exception is when you have a good relationship with an HVAC contractor and you are comfortable with using that contractor for your HVAC system replacement. 

After you have the competing proposals in hand, don’t just automatically go with the lowest bidder.  In fact, if any bid is significantly lower than the others, be very careful about choosing that contractor.  An unusually low bid can be a sign that something is amiss.  The contractor may have specified an undersized unit due to a bad load calculation (or no load calculation at all) or may be proposing to install lower quality equipment.

Alternatively, the low bidding contractor could be cutting corners on the installation which is potentially worse than using substandard equipment.  Proper installation of your HVAC system is every bit as important as the quality of the system itself.  Poorly installed equipment will not operate as efficiently as it was designed to operate and will fail sooner than it should.

It is well worth the small additional expense of hiring a reputable HVAC contractor with experience in HVAC replacement and installation who will take the time necessary for a top quality, professional installation of your new heating and air conditioning system.  You can be confident that you will be getting a system correctly sized for your home that will operate at peak efficiency.  You will also be able to depend on that contractor in the unlikely event of a problem down the road.