You are probably both anxious and excited if you are about to undertake a major renovation project in your Bay Area house. You may wonder whether to get a new HVAC system or not, especially if you are not changing the overall square footage and footprint of the space. The truth is there is a lot that goes into this question than just square footage. The design of your HVAC system needs to change if you change the usage, layout, occupancy, or materials used for constructing.
These are a few reasons to get a new HVAC system when you renovate.
Changes to Ductwork
You may need to change the ductwork when you make changes to the interior layout. The ventilation system is responsible for carrying cooled and heated air throughout the building. You are essentially changing the way air flows through the building when you are moving doors, walls, and windows. You may end up with hot and cold spots if you fail to update the ventilation system for accommodating layout changes.
Requirements Change with Usage
Heating and cooling requirements of a building change when the usage changes. Your new space may be accommodating new usage and activities. For instance, you may have added a new recreation room in your house or made the kitchen bigger. Heating and cooling needs will differ as per changes made in the usage of a particular space.
Walk-in closet with racks of clothing has different heating and cooling requirements than a small exercise room. The activities may change, hours will be different, and the occupants may develop different comfort expectations. Even adding new computer equipment to the space can make a huge difference.
Change in Number of Occupants
In general, people undertake home renovations when there is an expected change in occupancy. Maybe you are expecting a newborn or your college going children are finally moving away. Your heating and cooling needs will change as per the occupancy. You will need more cooling if adding more people to a given space. Your dining room will require more heating during winters but less cooling in summers if your kids are moving out.
The old air conditioner may not be correctly sized. New construction techniques and materials are more energy-efficient now. They may change the need for heating and cooling in a particular space. Insulated doors and windows can prevent drafts. This helps in reducing both cooling and heating needs.
The same holds true for wall insulation. Newer lighting technology doesn’t produce as much heat. This reduces cooling costs, but may increase heating needs. After all this, there is a high likelihood that the air conditioner and furnace you already have may be incorrectly sized as per your needs. It may be too large or small now for your needs.
Age of Your HVAC System
While a good HVAC system is expected to last for at least 15 to 20 years on average, their efficiency will progressively reduce as the system ages. At the time of your home renovation, if the HVAC unit is already more than 10 years old, you could consider replacing it. You can choose a more energy efficient HVAC system (with Energy Star label). You can expect to save up to 20% on your monthly energy bills with the new high-efficiency unit.