HVAC Basics Every Homeowner Should Know

The truth is that most people don’t have any idea of what to do when their HVAC system fails. When they call on a contractor, they are likely to accept the recommended actions and purchases without question. After all, the experts know best, right? Yes, but it is a good idea for homeowners to understand some of the basics of HVAC systems, so they can ask the right questions and make the best choice for their household.

Homeowners should know about the types and brands of HVAC systems that are available and how to go about choosing the system that works correctly and efficiently in their homes. We have created this guide to help home or business owners make the best possible choice when it is time to choose a new HVAC system.

There is more than one type of system available on the market, and each of these types has its own virtues and limitations.

The newer models of HVAC units and systems are built with better efficiency in mind, but if you are switching out, there will be extra costs for extra equipment and peripherals, such as duct-work, to consider.

If you had been using a boiler unit and are considering switching to forced air, there will be quite a lot of duct-work to be done. Be prepared to pay more in product and labor.

A radiator HVAC, or boiler, heats your house or business by heating water and pushing it through tubes that encircle the rooms of the building. The temp of the water is changed to control the warmth of the area. A radiator may use a few different types of fuel. Namely: natural gas, corn, or fuel oil.

Although a radiator HVAC is fairly efficient, it is not compatible with a central A/C. If you wish to use both, you will need separate duct-work done.

Forced air HVACs also utilize different fuels, such as natural gas, corn, and oil. The system burns fuel, and then its fan circulates the warm air through ducts and vents in the walls and ceilings of the home. This type of heater can use the same duct-work as a working air conditioner.

A heat pump system is most commonly added to an original system. It works by pumping the heat from one area into another. These are known for raising the energy efficiency of the already installed system.

The size of the HVAC matters. If you install a system that is too small for the area it needs to heat, it will have to work harder to do the job and will have a shorter lifespan. If you install an HVAC system that is too big for your home, it will cost you more in maintenance that would otherwise be unnecessary.

The type and size of your HVAC system are only two considerations when choosing a new unit for your home. The efficiency of your system matters even more.

You can choose an HVAC with standard or high-efficiency systems. If you choose a unit with a standard efficiency rating, you will pay less for the initial costs, but HVACs with high-efficiency ratings will last longer and save money on maintenance and utility costs.

You can recognize efficiency by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER and by the Energy Star Logo.

The SEER rating tells you how efficient a cooling or central air conditioning system is. If the unit has a rating of over 14, its efficiency is high.

If you want to know if an HVAC system is highly efficient, look the unit over for an Energy Star certification logo. Energy star logos are placed on systems that meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, and the Department of Energy.

Regardless of the type of HVAC system you choose, you will have to pay attention to the filter. The filter filters dirt and dust from the air and keeps air quality higher, but it has to replaced in order to keep doing its job. To keep your system running at its best, you should always replace the filter as often as recommended by manufacturers, or at least every couple of months.