Both for old and new homeowners, a detailed residential HVAC installation guide often proves helpful when you are intending to hire contractors in this space. Among other things, the tips shared here will help you to get streamlined quotes and compare costs before buying into any HVAC installation services.
Moreover, you’ll find some useful HVAC system maintenance tips for new homeowners and everyone else in between.
To keep an HVAC in shape, it needs regular maintenance and this of course often costs a lot of money and time. Before installing any HVAC make sure you have completed plans for the systems, products, and expertise needed to carry out such a project. It is also important that you are knowledgeable about various types of systems available in your locality.
Critically compare and contrast these various types so that you will make the best decision based on your needs.
Residential HVAC Installation Guide: The Basics
H represents Heating, V represents ventilating, and AC represents Air conditioning. Vents, Grills, Air conditioners, Ductwork, furnace, and thermostat are some examples of the Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning system.
Installation of HVAC systems should be done by highly trained professionals so that they do not develop faults along the line. This shouldn’t be compromised for any reason, not even to save costs.
HVAC systems constitute the better fraction of your home’s energy usage but it is totally worth it because of the comfort it creates. Some of HVAC’s best practices; use of automated controls, improving energy efficiency, performing preventive maintenance, making sure the system, and reducing energy costs.
These best practices are techniques that have proven to yield the best results.
Types Of HVAC Systems
Lots of HVAC systems are widely available in the market. To decide which of them would be able to satisfy your cooling and heating needs, you have to be conversant with their distinct features and functions. This knowledge will not only help you make the best decision, but a waste of resources (money) will also be avoided as well.
Below are some examples of HVAC systems widely available in the market.
1. Heat Pumps
Simply put, a heat pump is a type of HVAC system designed to create both heating and cooling effects.
Unlike other types of HVAC systems, the heat pump runs without fuel, rather it transfers heat from one surface to another or from one medium to another because it obeys the natural law of heat. (i.e that heat moves from a warmer body to a cooler body)
Some people prefer heat pumps rather than other types of HVAC systems that run on fuel because to an extent, it saves cost. There are three types of heat pumps; absorption, air source, and air-ground.
Homeowners should make proper inquiries about every one of them before finally deciding which to settle with.
A furnace is a home appliance that creates the heat being dispensed by the central heating system. This heat is distributed in every corner of the house to keep the house warm and comfortable especially during the winter when the environment can be very chilly.
The gas furnace is made up of a flue or vent pipe, a heat pump exchanger, a burner, and ductwork.
Many homeowners prefer to buy this type of HVAC system because it is very effective and durable, running for up to 25 years and sometimes beyond that.
The main disadvantages of the furnace are that it gets dirty easily and is difficult to clean therefore serving as a breeding ground for microorganisms.
Maintenance of a furnace requires professionalism. This should be done thoroughly and regularly especially before the winter period commences to ensure a warm and comfortable environment for members of the home.
What you have here is another type of HVAC system that distributes a natural kind of heat. They can run on different types of fuel ranging from coal, oil, and natural gas.
The fuel is preserved in a container that undergoes a chemical reaction and radiates heat in the process. In comparison to the other systems, the boiler system releases the most pleasant heat with perfect air quality.
In addition to producing pleasant heat, boilers do not pump dry and hot air. Boilers release heat via pipes to power radiators thus ensuring a quiet heating system. The noiselessness of its operation makes it attractive to many people.
Everyone would prefer to have an atmosphere where your home is kept warm and cozy without the interference of too much noise coming from the cooling system.
4. Mini- Splits
Mini-splits are popularly known as ductless split systems. This type of cooling and heating system offers you the opportunity to be in control of the temperatures of every compartment or space. Mini-splits are known to be very quiet thus making them more suitable for the home, especially at night.
As a house owner, there are a lot of benefits one could enjoy after having installed this ductless split system. But because it has to be cleaned and repaired daily, this traditional system is often too expensive to keep up with.
Installing Mini-splits is quite easy and does not waste much time. However, you shouldn’t be tempted to start installing your own A.C. unit by yourself even after you have read the central air conditioner installation guide.
Always employ the services of an expert. Mini-splits are automatically operated with a wireless remote. They consist of both indoor and outdoor units that are linked by a conductor further making operation easier.
For various reasons, recent house owners aren’t so eager to embrace some great technology such as geothermal heating systems. These reasons notwithstanding, geothermal is not an option to ignore. It is environmentally friendly and also saves money on energy bills.
Being the most modern form of heating system, the latest technology in the HVAC industry has been utilized in its production. Like other HVAC systems, the geothermal system functions with refrigerants but because they are environmentally friendly, they do not discharge it into the environment. Instead, the system stores it and makes use of it after some time.
The refrigerants move in circles along long curves that are fixed underground in your building. Deep below the ground, the temperatures do not fluctuate therefore preserving the refrigerants is conservative and saves energy.
Residential HVAC Installation Guide: Precautionary Measures
Know The HVAC system
You should know if your home has heat pumps, boilers, mini-split systems, or central air conditioning. After you must have found out the way your cooking and heating system is designed, the next thing is to note the sort of fuel it uses in its operation. Your system could be running on natural gas, on oil, or even on electricity. Other valuable facts to need to note include:
- Warranty: You must be aware of the warranty term for the product you wish to purchase. Make sure you are aware of incidents that might jeopardize the lifespan of your system and how to avoid them.
- Efficiency rating: Every HVAC system possesses the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), or energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings. When the rating is high, it signifies that the effectiveness of the unit is high too.
- Durability: Although HVAC systems are recognized as durable, lasting for several decades, some start developing issues in the 10th to 15th year of purchase.
HVAC System Maintenance Records/Reports
If the person who occupied the house previously maintained the house’s cooling and heating system and probably employed the services of experts to service it every year, demand for reports from the previous inspection to accustom yourself with various faults the machine has had in the past so you would have an idea of the problems it is likely to develop in the nearest future.
Change Your Filter Very Often
For a new homeowner who just moved and is not too accustomed to humidifiers, this can be a difficult challenge. Changing filters and general maintenance of the system should be included in the housekeeping routine. Considering the type of filter that comes with your system, some might need to be changed every month while some others might stay for longer periods before they need to be changed.
Taking care of your HVAC doesn’t stop at just cleaning and changing filters. It also entails taking care of the landscape.
Care of the landscape isn’t only about making the compound look neat and nice, it includes making sure that your HVAC installation runs properly with sufficient airflow. Trees, shrubs, and other plants should not be located very close to the heating and cooling system. Additionally, Gardening tools, toys, and other equipment should not be kept very close to the system.
Don’t obstruct the airways
While trying to conserve energy, homeowners make the mistake of closing the airways in the rooms that are not currently in use. However, doing this eventually increases your energy cost. Reason being that the system will need to put in more effort to maintain warmth and comfort in the home. Hence, experts advise that you should on no account obstruct the passage of air through these vents.
Annual HVAC maintenance
Always make sure that you carry out routine checks on your heating and cooling system every year. Even if it seems to be working perfectly and without hassles, you should get a technician to check for irregularities in the system and get them fixed so they do not graduate to even bigger problems. It is best to carry out your annual routine check during the period when the weather condition is not extreme.
Be cautious of the ductwork
Bad ductwork affects the efficiency of an HVAC system. It makes the room dusty always, gives it a damp smell, makes it feel too musty with abnormally high energy charges. If this is the case in your room, you should get a professional technician to take a look at it and monitor the ductwork. When there are holes in the ductwork, it dispenses air to areas where it is not needed.
Source for a qualified technician
Do not wait till you require the HVAC installation services of a technician before you go sorting for one. The disadvantage of finding a technician when you are in dare need of one is that your choices will be limited.
You are likely to make a wrong decision because you are under pressure to get your system fixed. Endeavor to source for reputable HVAC installation companies around your locality and familiarize yourself with them in case of emergencies.
Signs of A Malfunctioning HVAC System
Common signs of HVAC distress include:
- Strange smells in the openings.
- Unusual sounds while the unit is working.
- Irregular heating or cooling.
- The system operates for a long but still can’t satisfy the demands of the homeowner.
If your HVAC system shows any of these problems, then you need to fix or replace it. you have to contact an HVAC contractor to have it checked.
How To Maximize The Benefits of Your HVAC System
You are likely to get more out of your system if you are conversant with the modus operandi of the system. You have to know the brand and model of the unit, and how long the lifespan is.
Choose what filter you will like to use from the variety of filters available. Check out the maintenance needs of your specific model to help you keep the system in good shape.
Consult a professional technician to put you through your system’s wants and needs so you will be able to take care of it better. They will show you areas that need special attention and offer advice to improve efficiency.
As explained earlier, HVAC is a system that allows you to monitor and control the temperature of your home to ensure that the home remains warm and cozy at all times. Today various types and brands of HVAC systems are widely available in the market and one might get confused about which of them to choose.
This residential HVAC installation guide makes your job easier by providing all the necessary information you need including how to install an a.c. unit.
However, note that the AC installation process should be carried out by only highly trained professionals. These professionals also provide you with the necessary information that would help you to make the best decision.