How and Why to Upgrade to an Energy-Efficient HVAC System
As the price of energy never seems to go back down, homeowners are always looking for ways to help to reduce their energy costs. One of the best ways to help reduce your household’s energy usage is to upgrade to a more energy-efficient HVAC system. If you’re still relying on an HVAC system that is over 10 years old, you’re missing out on a plethora of new energy-efficient technology that could be saving you a bundle.
Key Indicators That Your HVAC System Needs to Be Updated
If you’re like most homeowners, your HVAC system isn’t something that you give much thought to on a regular basis. In fact, many of these systems are constructed to last between 10 and 15 years. That’s a long time, and it’s easy to forget about monitoring your system’s performance. Now is the perfect time for you to take a look at your HVAC system and see if you notice any of the following indicators that it’s time to upgrade your current setup.
- Your system is constantly requiring repairs
- Your system is over 10 years old
- Your home never seems to reach a comfortable temperature
- You’re noticing more and more dust buildup throughout your home
- Your system is making unusual sounds and smells
- Your energy bills keep going up
- You experience humidity problems inside your home
Where to Start
If you’ve done any research online about upgrading your existing HVAC system, then you know that there are many options out there for you to choose from. In fact, it can be quite confusing to try to figure out what system would fit best in your home and provide you with the most efficiency. A good place to start is to enlist the help of a licensed HVAC professional who can evaluate your home environment and make recommendations on what type and size of system you’ll want to invest in.
When it comes to finding an air conditioning system that is both energy-efficient and fits within your budget, you want to assess systems based on their SEER rating. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This is a mathematical indication of the cooling output of the air conditioner divided by the energy it uses in watt-hours for an entire cooling season. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioning system will be.
Back in the 1990s, the minimum SEER rating set by the government was 10. In the 2020s, the minimum SEER rating is set at 13. When you look at the available residential air conditioning systems on the market today, you can purchase ones with a SEER rating between 13 and 22. The higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the system’s going to be. Finding a good balance between fitting your new air conditioning system into your budget and trying to get the highest SEER rating possible can be easier if you consult an HVAC professional.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
If you’re planning on putting in a new furnace, then you’ll want to take into account its AFUE rating. This rating is simply defined as the annual heat output of your furnace divided by its annual energy consumption. The higher the AFUE rating, the more energy-efficient the furnace will be.
The Department of Energy has set a minimum AFUE rating of 80% for residential households. Furnaces that have an AFUE rating between 80% and 85% are considered to be mid-efficiency systems. High-efficiency systems, on the other hand, have an AFUE rating between 90% and 98.5%. As can be expected, the higher the AFUE rating of a furnace, the more expensive it’s going to be to purchase.
Top Benefits of Upgrading Your HVAC System
Probably the most sought-after benefit of upgrading your HVAC system is that you can purchase one that is more energy-efficient. When your system utilizes less energy, your energy bills are lower throughout the year. However, upgrading to a new system provides you with many other benefits.
If you still have a very old air conditioning or heating system, then you’ll notice it turns on full-blast and then turns off. This type of operation makes it very difficult for your home to reach a comfortable temperature and stay there throughout the entire day. Newer HVAC systems have multiple operating levels that can more effectively get your home to a comfortable temperature and keep it there. You’ll likely be surprised just how amazingly comfortable a new HVAC system is once you start running it in your home.
Most HVAC systems will come with a standard manufacturer’s warranty. This will help to cover the cost of replacing faulty parts on your system when you experience a problem. If you have an outdated HVAC system, it’s likely that your warranty has expired. When you upgrade, you don’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for unexpected repair bills for at least 10 to 15 years, depending on the individual manufacturer’s warranty length. This can give you and your family peace of mind about your financial future.
A commonly overlooked benefit of upgrading your outdated HVAC system is that newer systems have a much quieter operation. Manufacturers have put a lot of focus on constructing HVAC systems with high-tech absorbing materials to help limit operating noises. Once you upgrade to a new system, it won’t take long until you realize that there is no background noise constantly running from your HVAC unit.
Other Tips for Decreasing Home Energy Usage
While upgrading to a new HVAC system is one of the most effective ways to drastically reduce your energy usage, there are some other tips that you can implement to keep your energy bills to a minimum. First and foremost is adding ceiling fans in your bedrooms, living room, and even home office.
In the summertime, you want to have your fan blades spinning in a counterclockwise direction so that it forces a breeze down onto you. This can help to make it feel much cooler than it actually is in your home, so you don’t have to set your thermostat down even further. During the colder winter months, you want to have the blades spinning in a clockwise direction to help force the hot air outward and back down to the floor.
If your home is lacking in insulation, upgrading to at least the recommended R-value for your area of the country is highly suggested. Insulation is a much-needed barrier between the inside of your home and the outside. The thicker the barrier is, the more likely you’ll be able to keep cool air inside during the summer and warm air inside during the winter.
Reliable HVAC Services
Sano Heating & Air Conditioning provides reliable HVAC services for the whole Anaheim, CA region. We can also assist with all of your indoor air quality, air purification, zone systems, sheet metal, and air ducting needs. Simply contact us today to get help from our highly experienced service professionals.