When you’re in the process of replacing your existing cooling and heating system, the HVAC costs for the equipment are likely to be your first consideration. Unlike other upgrades or appliances for your home, however, the cost of a new HVAC system typically translates directly into lower energy bills and operational costs over its lifetime.
Important HVAC Selection Guidelines
The three factors that are important with HVAC systems in the Florida area are:
- Energy efficiency. Cooling system efficiency is especially important since summers are long and hot. Ask the HVAC contractor with whom you’re working to run different pricing and payback scenarios for you based on system efficiency. Since HVAC systems last for years, splurging on high efficiency will pay for itself.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) assigns energy efficiency ratings for HVAC systems. The minimum cooling efficiency for Florida starts at 14 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). The ratings go into the 20s for heat pumps and air conditioners. Each increase in the SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less electricity. A 16 SEER unit would theoretically use 20 percent less electricity than a 14 SEER for the same amount of cooling.
That decrease in your electric bills over the life of the air conditioner will defray the higher HVAC costs of a more efficient system.
- Ability to dehumidify. Some HVAC systems remove more humidity than others, which is a crucial aspect of summertime comfort and energy bills in this region. As you select your system, ask the contractor to verify its ability to remove humidity using Manual S software.
- Warranty. All other things being equal, the duration, conditions and provisions of the warranty are important consideration. Manufacturer warranties differ, and they’re worth reviewing. Your contractor will be a good source of information regarding warranty provisions.
When you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions for expert help with HVAC costs. We provide trusted HVAC services for Orlando-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).