Your HVAC system, which means your heating and cooling systems, are the heart of your home. They are the reason you can sleep well at night when it’s blistering hot out or you can read comfortably on your couch when it’s cold outside. These system are designed to work for years, but after a while, like all things used on a regular basis, they must be replaced. Yet, advice varies on whether or not you should replace your air conditioner and furnace at the same time.
Consider how quickly technology develops. A decade ago cellphones were still about the size of small bricks and now you can comfortably slide one in your back pocket (or lose it in your purse!). Imagine how far energy efficient technology has come since the day your furnace was installed twelve years ago. Considering homeownership is one of the biggest investments of anyone’s life, it’s safe to say there’s a whole industry around making that the most sensible choice for you.
Heating and cooling systems have similar lifespans and often operate together. Your ventilation system is what moves air, both warm and cold, through your house. If you replace your air conditioning unit but the other aspects of your system are outdated you may not be using your conditioner to maximum efficiency.
Also, if you only replace one piece of equipment and continue to repair the other one, the amount you spend on repairs and in utility bills on less efficient equipment may easily be outweighed by buying an entirely new, modern air conditioning and heating system. By the time you do replace that second piece, it may be more efficient than your now-older equipment ensuring you still don’t operate at 100% capacity.
Consider the amount of time that goes into replacing one piece of equipment. You need to consult a specialist, select a unit, review warranty and service agreements, schedule an install date and take off that day from work, and setup repair and servicing for your outdated equipment. Whereas, doing a system overhaul means you can take care of everything in one fell swoop, and sometimes get a better deal in the process!
It would be unfair of us to ignore factors associated with replacing separately, but these truly are conditional. If neither of your equipment is more than a few years old and you are having serious problems with one piece, that piece may be defective. You should consult your installer and the manufacturer regarding how to replace the equipment as soon as possible. If you only need to conduct minor repairs or replace parts well known to break down early, you only need to deal with one piece at a time. However, if you are replacing an 8 year old air conditioning unit and haven’t considered replacing your 10 year old furnace, we strongly encourage you to consult a specialist about overhauling your system.
By replacing both units at the same time you save money on energy bills, minimize work done at your home, and can open up opportunities to increase efficiency at large. If you are replacing your equipment you should have your ducts inspected as well. (30% efficiency is lost through heat and cool transfer in leaking ducts.) One system overhaul could have your home operating hassle free for ten years or more!
You will need to calculate the heat load of your building before you install heating and cooling appliances in your space. This helps a lot in determining the type and quality of heating and cooling systems that will be appropriate for your house. While doing home repairs and remodeling, homeowners are encouraged to recalculate the heat load before installing or upgrading heating and cooling systems. Since these types of home improvement can alter the size and structure of spaces in a home, calculating heat loads is critical when making such changes.
A heat load refers to a scientific measure that is used to determine the amount of heat required to achieve a specific temperature. In other words, a heat load will determine what kind of heating system and how much energy it will likely use to hear certain spaces in your home.
Calculating the heat load for a particular building involves many variables, and Sacramento HVAC specialists offer several methods you can use to calculate the heat load for a given space. The accuracy of a technique depends on the ease with which the results can be obtained.
The space and the size of the area are critical factors when calculating the heating load of your structure. From this calculation a homeowner can decide whether to install a more reliable insulation material that will reduce the amount of heat loss. A smaller space will heat faster and use less energy, while a larger space might require a more powerful unit.
If you are concerned about your home’s heat load, you should note sources of heat loss such as windows, doors, rooms, and the amount of air coming from outside. Therefore, the more ventilation, the higher the heat load you will require. You can design your ventilation system to compensate for losses and reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool your space.
Understanding the fundamentals of heat load is incredibly important when you are planning to lower your overall energy cost. Thus, the lifetime cost of maintaining a structure depends on the costs associated with heat loss. The more heat or cooling you lose, the more costly it will be to maintain your house… it could also lower the value of your house if you decide to sell. Fortunately, Sacramento HVAC specialists will use special methods to determine if your spaces are efficient and how they can be improved.
With the growing energy cost brought on by skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, homeowners are concerned about the amount of energy that are likely to consume. While there are several strategies you can use to cut down your annual energy cost, it can be tempting to just disconnect your heating and cooling systems to eliminate their impact on your energy bills. Of course, it would be far easier and more pleasant to determine ways in which you can decrease your energy costs and usage with the help of a trained professional rather than shivering and sweating your way through the year. You don’t need to pay a lot to live in a comfortable home.
When planning to overhaul current or install new heating and cooling systems, it is essential to contact qualified Sacramento HVAC specialists to help calculate the possible heating load and design of the system. We want you to live as comfortably as possible at a price you can afford.
An HVAC system can help your home maintain a cozy, comfortable temperature no matter what the seasons throw at you. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are the underbelly of your house, the duct systems, filters, furnace and cooling unit that your make your house a comfy home.
There are simple ways to tell when components of your HVAC system to need to be replaced.
Heating Components: Furnace & Boiler
Many homes are heated using furnaces or boilers, the former merely distributes heat through the home while the latter can also double as a water heater. Both systems have what are called ‘heat exchangers’ which are the core of their heating functions. If you see that exchangers are damaged in any way you should look into replacing your systems as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you spot any other sort of structural damage have your systems checked out immediately to see if you need them replaced. Furnaces are particularly vulnerable to rust damage if they are near sources of moisture, especially if they are tied to your central air conditioning system. One tell-tale sign of excessive damage is a strange smell, which indicates carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas. Boilers on the other hand indicate extreme damage by leaking water.
The air conditioning aspect of your HVAC system is harder to gauge. Unlike furnaces or boilers, ACs require far more repairs due to the fact that it’s core system is often outside. Since they are exposed to the elements, and will likely suck things such as dirt and leaves into its system, they require more repairs. You should have someone conduct regular maintenance on the unit. However, if there is severe structural damage, it makes an excessive amount of noise or you need to have it repaired more than once a season you should look into replacing the unit.
Ducts & Vents
Upon inspections ducts are fairly easy to tell if they need to be replaced, you can see breaks, rust, or feel leaks, but that means you need to notice a problem to begin with. The most noticeable sign that your ducts and ventilation system aren’t working to capacity is a lack of uniform heating or air conditioning through your house. If you have zoned temperature control set two rooms to be identical and heat them for the same amount of time, try two to three hours, and check their status. If there is serious difference there may be issues with your ventilation system.
HVAC systems are an extremely important component of your home. These systems circulate fresh air through your house while simultaneously filtering out all the bits you don’t want like pollen and dust. Additionally, HVAC systems maintain a consistent moisture level, not too moist which would cause mold, but not too dry, which could dry out your skin or degrade wood furniture quicker. They are the key to heating and cooling your home and ensuring you and your family are always breathing the fresh California air. You should have your HVAC system inspected every few years and make sure to perform routine maintenance. Replacing the system is much easier on your terms rather than in an emergency.
When you buy an appliance you are given an owner’s manual. Vital knowledge includes its proper use, how to tell if something has gone wrong, and when it requires cleaning or maintenance. An air conditioning system, for example, requires a significant amount of attention to ensure it runs properly and efficiently. Sacramento HVAC specialists will help you determine a schedule of cleaning and maintenance on your entire system, including a check on your duct work.
Regular inspection is crucial for appliances such as the air conditioning system. An inspection will provide a wealth of information about the system, such as when it is best to have the ducts cleaned or the units cooled.
Regardless of this schedule, you should have your duct-work checked if there is any visible mold growth inside any component of the air conditioning system, especially on the ducts. It should also be checked by Sacramento HVAC specialists if you suspect that the duct is clogged with dust and particles. This can be determined by a visual inspection of the easily-accessible parts of the system or the filters.
When To Have Your Ducts Checked
- You might also need to have your system inspected if you have reason to suspect it isn’t working properly. If, for example, you hear strange noise from the air duct, you should have the ducts professionally examined to determine the problem.
- If your utility bill goes up an unreasonable amount that’s a sign that something isn’t work right.
- Your home seems visibly dustier than it ever was in the past.
- If members of your family become ill or their allergies act up very badly when indoors.
Generally speaking, it is best to schedule regular inspections to ensure things are working optimally in order to avoid these problems altogether. A thorough inspection is the only way a contractor can know what problems your ducts or air conditioning system might be hiding from you. Finding a qualified specialist can alleviate many of your worries and answer any questions you may have about maintenance. Before you hire a contractor, you should make sure they are qualified, licensed, certified and insured before accepting their services. What you learn from even one visit by a trained professional will be invaluable in determining what your system requires and how best to provide it.
The inspection will allow your Sacramento HVAC specialist to identify what problems, if any, exist in the ducts and the rest of the system. The course of action might be as simple as a cleaning, but make sure it is done properly otherwise more particles could be released into your house than ever before. If there is a greater problem than simple cleaning perhaps resealing or replacing is in order. It is possible that, on older ducts, cleaning and repairing aren’t enough to ensure appropriate air flow and cleanliness. In fact, replacing ductwork with modernized, efficient equipment can reduce your utility bills. There is nothing as important as breathing in fresh and clean air, and maintaining your ductwork is a small price to pay for that luxury.