Buying new HVAC equipment is never an easy task. If you go for the cheaper option, are you getting an inferior product? On the other hand, if you spend more, are you wasting money? Not to worry. Here's a quick guide to help you determine whether to splurge or save when it comes to HVAC costs.
SPLURGE: HVAC SYSTEM.
Get the highest energy efficiency rating you can find: SEER for an A/C or AFUE for a furnace. You'll pay extra money, but as your energy bill goes down, you'll more than make it up over the years. Also, a higher quality system will last you longer, not breaking down as quickly or as often as a cheaper model.
SPLURGE: MANUAL J.
When you buy your new system, always get a Manual J calculation, to tell you the proper size unit for your home. This will save you a ton on HVAC costs in the long run. If your unit is too small for your home, it will have to work overtime to heat or cool it properly, running up your energy bill in the process. If it's too big, it will cycle on and off too quickly, again wasting energy and wearing out much more quickly.
A high R-value of insulation is important for keeping your house comfortable and your energy bills down. But you don't need to splurge on expensive insulation to get a high R-value. Get some cheap fiberglass batts and just install more of them. It'll provide you with the same level of protection as the higher end types.
Visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).