From Engineering on January 08, 2014 in Air Conditioning & Heating
With severe winter weather taking over much of the country this year, it’s more imperative than ever to ensure you have a well-maintained and fully operable HVAC system in your home. The last thing you want is for your heating system to die in the middle of a deep freeze. If you’re a homeowner in winter storm-affected areas, you may need to assess your current HVAC system and possibly invest in a new one. Hiring qualified professionals to tackle this job is important, as they have extensive experience with all kinds of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and can easily provide maintenance, repair and installation services. You may be a handy DIY’er around the house, but this job is best left to the pros. You don’t want to cause more damage than you should, which could lead to even bigger bills.
Upgrading Your Home HVAC System
How do you know if it’s time for an upgrade? Well, first consider the age of your system. If it’s older than 10 years and just can’t keep you comfortable anymore, if your furnace is running a lot more than usual, or if your energy bills are much higher than you’re used to, your system may need to be replaced. A qualified HVAC technician can make the final decision, based on a thorough inspection of your home’s system. Many times, companies offer free estimates and inspections, so gather as many as you can to get a broad spectrum of prices.
Boost Heating Efficiency
With heating and cooling components sucking up more than 40 percent of your home’s annual energy bills, it’s crucial to have an HVAC system that’s working at top efficiency. You can have an energy assessment done by a professional skilled in energy efficiency, or you could hire an HVAC professional to come in and test for leaks. You don’t want all that precious heat during the winter going right out the window. Maximizing your system’s energy efficiency is key here. Fixing leaks first can prevent the need in some cases for a whole new HVAC system, but in many cases, your system may just be too old and replacement is inevitable. If you do make some energy efficient tweaks prior to getting a new HVAC system installed, you pave the way for smoother sizing and installation of the new system, plus you know it will run as efficiently as possible.
Seeking a Qualified Professional
It can seem daunting with so many choices in HVAC companies near you, but with a little research, you can easily find one to meet your home’s needs and budget. Get a recommendation from an energy-efficiency or insulation company, a local builder, or contractor or friends and family members. Check out the company’s Better Business Bureau rating, and follow up on references. Make sure the HVAC technician you choose is licensed and insured, with many years of experience in the business. The lowest price isn’t always the best choice. You want to hire someone who has vast experience installing HVAC systems properly, as improper installation can lead to health and safety issues for you and your family, including carbon monoxide leaks. In addition, improper installation can lead to higher bills, mold growth and the increased possibility of fire. Any HVAC contractor you select should be able to do a load calculation to size your system the right way, which factors in the size of your home, local climate, ventilation requirements and insulation levels. Doing a little research now to hire a qualified contractor can lead to a positive experience with little to no hassle on your part. As a homeowner in areas of the country prone to wintry weather, you must protect your home before the cold hits.