HVAC replacement can be tricky if you don’t know what to expect. Most Bay Area (or anyone for that matter) homeowners do not have prior experience with replacing their HVAC units since these can last decades. This short guide will help you estimate whether you need to replace the entire unit, costs involved, and basic terminology.
Do you really need the entire unit to be replaced?
Sometimes, you don’t really need the entire HVAC unit to be replaced. You can enhance your existing system’s life by changing the air handler or just the HVAC compressor. However, in such cases, it’s paramount that you have the entire unit given the once-over. At least, have the ductwork and systems inspected and updated.
It is recommended that you seek counsel from an expert HVAC contractor because while only a part may need replacing, sometimes, it is more cost effective to replace the entire unit. You would save more money in the long-run by replacing the entire HVAC system because it will increase efficiency, reduce energy bills, and require fewer repairs.
How much does it cost?
Any reputable HVAC contractor or company would be able to give you an estimate for the replacement. The contractor would perform load calculations and measure square footage. Load calculations would be based on the size of your property, climate in your area, condition of the building envelope and its ability to contain cool air.
It is possible that a replacement may require upgrading crawl space or attic insulation, repairing breaches in exterior wall, and resealing of doors and windows. After completing the assessment, the contractor will recommend the best type and size of HVAC unit that will satisfy your needs.
Basic HVAC terms you should know
There are certain terms you should know before you look for the best HVAC replacement:
HSPF – Heating Season Performance Factor
This rating is given to the efficiency of the heat pump in an HVAC system. All new heat pumps are required to have a minimum rating of 7.7.
SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
This rating determines the efficiency of the cooling system. The current SEER rating is a minimum of 13 for all new systems.
It is important to note that units with a high HSPF and SEER rating would cost more. However, these tend to provide better value for money in the long run.
How to get ready for an HVAC replacement
HVAC replacement is a tedious and lengthy job. However, there are certain steps that can speed up the process. For instance, before the installation crew arrives, you could move irreplaceable objects and valuables to a safe location.
Most contractors are not comfortable around valuables since they do not want to bear the costs of damage in case of an accident. Likewise, it is recommended that you keep your pets safely out of the way and allow the crew to do their job.
Basic HVAC system replacements can be completed the same day. However, there are some that require more advanced additions that may extend into the next day.